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Published
30 September 2015

Headmistress' response to The Sydney Morning Herald's article

​You may have read The Sydney Morning Herald’s article this weekend about our proposed Research, Performing Arts and Aquatic Centre (RPAC) and master plan. Our RPAC development proposal is designed to upgrade and modernise our existing facilities. We wish to update our library so that it reflects the needs of 21st century learners. Also, our current swimming pool is 40 years old and our theatre is too small and basic for our girls’ needs.

To give you a clearer picture of our plans and the process we are following I address the article’s main comments below:

The school has “breached its student cap” and is “seeking to increase its student numbers”: We have a historical student cap which applies to a portion of the school campus. Our campus has however increased in size due to land acquisition over the years. To bring the cap up to date, we have requested a cap of 1,200 students for the whole campus, envisaging student numbers growing gradually between now and 2029 in line with expected growth in the Sydney region.
The request to increase our student cap is a separate issue from the building of the RPAC. We do not anticipate an increase in student numbers as a result of a new RPAC facility.

Submission from NSW Police to our development application: We have worked closely with the Eastern Suburbs Local Area Command (Police) in relation to their feedback from our RPAC development application. We have met with our appointed Police representative and investigated his suggestions. His recommendations have been submitted back through the development process and we look forward to receiving them.

The school has not adequately consulted with the community: At every stage of our development application we have consulted with our local community, including hosting general community meetings, meeting individual residents directly affected by the development and attending meetings of the Charing Cross Precinct.  After feedback from these groups, we amended our original RPAC plans before submission to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. We appreciate that there will be a diversity of views on any development, and try to consider these views in the context of the benefits of the development and the impact on the local community.

We are proud of being an independent school serving our local community and mindful of the responsibility it brings; we work hard to build a strong and respectful relationship with our neighbours and residents and will continue to consult with them beyond the requirements of our DA application.

For more information about our RPAC building submission and the progress of our DA application click here.

If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on buildingplan@stcaths.nsw.edu.au. We always appreciate hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Dr Julie Townsend
Headmistress