High School Upgrade


Chatswood High School is undergoing an upgrade of infrastructure.

It is proposed to build a new building(s) with up to 25 classroom. This will likely result in the removal of some demountable buildings from the site. Given the restricted locations for new buildings on the site it is likely the new building(s) will be multi-storey. These days, the Department of Education seem to favour new 3-storey buildings as they require a smaller footprint.

The consultation for the project is being undertaken by Savills Project Management on behalf of the Department of Education. They are running two informtion sessions for parents. In addition,on the 1st June they had an Information Table in Railway Street. Savills’ had placed an obscure advertisement in the paper, so it is unlikely many people would be aware of the project. Savills have not notified surrounding houses and are not planning a separate information session for neighbours.

The claim is that the new building(s)/classrooms are for the High School not for the Primary “Bush” School. However, as this is early days of the project, they are only now starting to look at possible locations.

As can be seen in the diagram below, there are a number of locations that may be considered. All locations have possible negative impacts.


The Chatswood West Ward Progress Association has requested Savills (Department of Education) to advise neighbours, and the general community, early in this process (like now). We have also suggested that they hold a public meeting on the proposal

The project managers have provided the following information to the school community.

Q: What will the proposed project include?

A: A new building with up to 25 classrooms, and the removal of some demountable buildings.

Q: Where are you in the process to date?

A: The design team is on board and they are carrying out site analysis in the early stages of design

Q: When will the design be complete?

A: It is expected to be completed early next year.

Q: When will the project be complete?

A: The project is expected to be completed in the next few years.

Q: When can I get more information?

A: As the project develops more information will be available via further information booths and updates will be made available on the school website.

Please complete the questionairre below and despatch.


Proposed Chatswood HS Upgrade – Consultation Consultation

The NSW Department of Education is planning an upgrade to Chatswood High School. Your feedback on the questions below would be greatly appreciated.

  1. What aspects of the school do you value?
  2. What features would you like to see in any future development?
  3. Are there any comments you would like to make about the proposed upgrade
  4. Workshops may be held with the community during the design process. If you are interested in participating please provide your contact details below. Workshops normally run for 90 minutes and are held in a location at or close to the school.
  5. Other comments……………………………………………………..


Email Address: ………………………………………………………………………………………..

 Contact Numbers: …………………………………………………………………………………….

Send your comments to: Emma Viljoen, Project Manager: eviljoen@savills.com.au







One thought on “High School Upgrade

  1. Dear Emma,

    It was good to catch you at the Information Table in Railway St, Chatswood yesterday afternoon. Thank you for the information you provided.

    We understand that generally the project is about building an additional 25 classrooms at Chatswood High School (CHS). Whilst you reported that the classrooms are for use by the High School there would be neighbour concern with the intensification of use and also community concern with the type of use.

    There was community concern when classes from Chatswood Public School (CPS) were relocated to CHS. The fear is that the Department is planning to move CPS onto the CHS site to allow them to sell the CPS to developers for mixed commercial/retail use. A number of years ago there was a proposal to relocate CHS to the UTS Kuringgai (UTSK) campus. Given that there is to be a new high school at UTSK in a year or so, the fear is that some classes(senior?) might be relocated to UTSK to allow for the transfer of more Primary classes to CHS. The community preference is that CPS is redeveloped to cater for increasing numbers. At the moment, there is a parcel of land adjacent to CPS for sale. The community feel that the Department should purchase that land as part of a CPS Master Plan.

    You mentioned that the location for the new classrooms being considered are on sites currently housing demountables. The recent Departmental trend is for higher than 2 storey structures. There is general acceptance of this approach as it minimises the footprint of buildings and protects areas of current open space. The main areas of open space on the site are the playing oval and surrounds and the protected remnant stand of Blue Gum High Forest in the south-west corner of the site. The main impact of high buildings are the bulk and scale of the building (this can be largely addressed architectually) and the propensity for overshadowing. The site to the north of the oval is sub-optimal given the potential for overshadowing the field (although this might be ameliorated when the oval is surfaced with synthetic grass). Sites to the west on the site have a buffer of trees between them and the neighbouring dwellings, so early morning overshadowing might not be significant. Whilst you stated that the carpark site was not being considered, any high development on that site could have an unacceptable negative impact on the remnant forest to the south of the site. The site to the east (currently housing the CPS ‘Bus’ School is interesting. It abuts the generally 8-storey residential buildings and (compared to the other sites) would probably cast less shadow.

    Can we say we are concerned with the process being used to inform neighbours and the general community about the project. The public advertisement I responded to was non-specific. It mentioned a project at Chatswood High School (CHS) but did not state the nature of the project. Also, the method of notification (newspaper advertisement) is not that effective in comparison to other low cost methods such as letter boxing neighbours and surrounding areas. It appears that Savilles or the Department are merely seeking to ‘tick a box’ regarding community consultation, rather then actually engaging the community. In my experience of some 25 years of community engagement I have previously found that the approach adopted is counter-productive. You mentioned that there was concern by Svills/Department about the likelihood of ‘unruly public meetings’. However, if appropriately managed public meetings can be most positive.Our Progress Association would be more than happy to cooperate on such an initiative. We would encourage you to reconsider the method of notification of the wider community. In the early stages of the recent Mowbray Public School full redevelopment, neighbours were directly notified early on the process and provided with information as required. Subsequently, there was minimal concern from the local community.

    Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission on the proposal

    Terry Fogarty
    Chatswood West Ward Progress Association
    0477 299 763

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