Push for school on old hospital site

Inner-city parents are lobbying for a school to be built on the old Peter MacCallum Hospital site in East Melbourne, which is earmarked to become a mix-used development site.

The site at 2 St Andrews Place was scrutinised by the State Government in a series of reports that aim to change the public use zone into a mixed-use zone.

If successful, residential or commercial towers up to 12 storeys could be built on the 8200sqm site.

Parents lobby group City School For City Kids (CS4CK) sees the site as a potential new city school.

“Now is the time for the government to step up and reserve this irreplaceable taxpayer-owned land to build the schools so desperately needed in (inner-city) communities,” the group said.

As reported in the September CBD News, inner-city state schools continue to overflow, with more than 2000 students zoned to the 1200-student capacity University High School.

The City of Melbourne is experiencing an unprecedented boom in families, and the current 3269 school-aged children is set to more than double to 7500 by 2026, according to data by Grattan Institute.

The parents argue the CBD’s only school, Haileybury College, was converted from an existing office building on King St, so a school could easily be built within the existing hospital building.

CS4CK estimates the number of inner-city children unable to be enrolled in a school within a 20-minute journey from their home will be in the “thousands” in 2021.

Pete Goss from the Grattan Institute told the media the Peter MacCallum site could be helpful to relieve stress off city schools.

“There is a looming boom. It could be smart to hang onto this site for the future. We’ve got to keep the option open,” he said.

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