The Department of Education is talking about building multi-storey classroom. What are the implications? What are the questions?
Multi-story schools are not new. St Andrews in the city is one example. However, multi-storey is new for public schools.
How many storeys are they thinking off? Currently, the majority of public schools have no more than two storeys. However, there are some private/catholic school in Sydney with 3/4 storeys. Reports from those schools is that they work just fine.
The first thing that often falls to mind with high-rise schools is lifts. Walking up flights of stairs is a positive benefit for students. A healthy exercise. However, lifts are required for special needs and perhaps for some of our ageing teacher force.
Having a high-rise school can also mean more playground. In fact, I have seen one school where almost the entire block was available for student play. Some of the area provides shade, covered by the building above. A great outcome.
One aspect of the concept of a high-rise school that may need some thought is if the Department of Education start developing housing above the school (to pay for the cost of construction). This could mean more traffic around the school. So we need to see an Environmental Impact Assessment on these new ideas.