Flip the Build and Save Our School Tree at Mount Hawthorn Primary School
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Did you know the Department of Education plans to cut down the largest tree at Mount Hawthorn Primary School to put in a two storey building? The Port Jackson Fig is the tree that everyone sees from Scarborough Beach Road, is an asset for the children, and ties the school visually and historically to Braithwaite Park.
The back of the building will be along Scarborough Beach Road and will block views to and from the school. This will dramatically change the streetscape from Braithwaite Park and Scarborough Beach Road.
The tree can be saved, the aesthetics of the school, and the functionality of the building can all be improved if the Department of Education will draw up new plans that FLIP the building to the north side of the pre-primary area.
A flipped build would be better for the Mount Hawthorn Community and also have functional benefits for the school.
For the Mount Hawthorn community:
- Improve the streetscape and views of the school from Scarborough Beach Road and Braithwaite Park.
- Keep the visual and historical connection between the school and Braithwaite Park.
- Improve security by allowing for locals and Park users to observe if undesirable or criminal activity is occurring outside school hours.
For the school:
- Pre-primary kids keep an irreplaceable playground asset – THE TREE.
- A flipped build would provide more play space.
- A flipped build would look out over the tree and playground and across to Braithwaite Park.
- Existing play shade structure would not need to be moved (by the Department of Education) and play area rebuilt (by the P&C).
- Give better use of ground levels and better connections to existing school buildings.
- Provide direct access to upper level, general use rooms, meaning older children don’t have to walk through the pre-primary area to access the building.
- Improve play space areas by reducing access paths and disability ramps.
We respectfully request that the Minister instruct the Department of Education to prepare an alternative design for the new Mount Hawthorn Primary School build that will:
- retain the largest tree on campus, a Port Jackson Fig tree that is a nature play asset and provides passive cooling;
- maximise usable play space and minimise dead spaces behind buildings;
- create better access and connections to the existing school buildings and grounds; and
- improve security and reduce opportunities for crime and antisocial behaviours through natural surveillance.
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