There are three public schools within the West Ward. Chatswood Public School (CPS), Chatswood High School (CHS) and Mowbray Public School (MPS). Both CPS and CHS are over capacity.
Mowbray Public School
The school was recently completely rebuilt with capacity to house 1,000 students. Enrollments currently stand around 500. Additional enrollments will come from the unit developments along Mowbray Road West on the Lane Cove side. The Department of Education (DofE) is considering adjusting the catchment boundary with CPS to drive more students to MPS from CPS.
Chatswood High School
The school is currently over capacity at 1,400 students. However, there was a plan to build an additional 25 classrooms on ‘underutilised’ land, but this has been put on hold.
Note: 10 or more demountable classroom have been installed on the site for classes from CPS (known as the Bush Campus)..
Chatswood Public School
The school is way over capacity with 1,200 students. However, parts of the school are Heritage listed restricting somewhat future development of the site.
The current imperative in the area is to secure the future of Chatswood Public School.
There are a number of possible options.
1. Purchase additional land contiguous with CPS to allow the return of classes from the CHS site and expansion of enrollments.
On three sides the school is bounded by roads – Pacific Highway, Centennial Ave and Jenkins St.
To the north of the site, 688-692 Pacific Highway is zoned for medium density development.. If the Department of Education was able to purchase these sites they could potentially build a multi-level school with housing above. The difficulty is that the current zoning means the land is relatively expensive to purchase. Also, the Department has previously indicated their hesitancy in having mixed use on a school site.
To the west of the site there are a number of residential allotments between Jenkins St, James St and Western Way. These could be acquired for a traditional expansion of the school.
There may also be space available for some additional facilities on the site.
2. Relocate more classed from CPS to CHS
The plan to build 25 new classrooms could facilitate such a plan, but CHS needs additional classes itself. So this would seem to be aa self-defeating option.
Implications for Chatswood High School
The relocation of classes from CPS to CHS could dramatically impact the educational outcome on the CHS site. There have been suggestions that some classes from CHS move to the new UTS school at Roseville.
Some years ago, there was a proposal to relocate some or all of CHS to the then UTS site in Roseville. This was fought by local residents to the extent that a campaign was run to ensure that there was not a station at UTS on the then Parramatta to Chatswood rail line.
Sydney Metro Dive Site
After the completion of the new Sydney Metro South, the land at the corner of the Pacific Highway and Mowbray Road currently being used to construct the dive site will be vacant. This site at what was once the early CBD of Chatswood could make a great site for a new school. The site is at the end of the proposed southern expansion of the current CBD and is equidistant between CPS and Artarmon PS.