Pulteney Grammar School
Pulteney Grammar School has been telling its community for months that it plans to expand its campus "on both sides of South Terrace."
This is not an exaggeration of its intentions. Concept plans lodged with the Adelaide Park Lands Authority, were considered on Thursday (21 June).
The agenda papers for that meeting, at which the School's proposal was recommended, described class rooms on the second storey of a massive proposed new building in Blue Gum Park / Kurangga (Park 20).
The plan envisaged demolishing several existing buildings with a combined footprint of 572 square metres, and erecting two new buildings with a footprint of 967m2.
With the inclusion of a second storey to one of the buildings, the proposed total floor space on Park Lands would have been 1,430 metres, an increase of 250% over the status quo.
The school was planning to include several features of a private nature: a "multi-purpose" space (though Pulteney's principal has denied this space was to have been used as classrooms) an office, a gym, and extended storage.
Pulteney Grammar gave no explanation as to why any of the essentially private facilities (including the entire second floor) should be on public Park Lands rather than immediately across the road on its South Terrace campus.
There is a collection of several small change facilities and storage sheds in this area. See the pics below. The existing facilities are used not only by Pulteney Grammar, but also by the Adelaide Harriers Athletics Club, and Little Athletics.
We have previously drawn attention to the poor state of these facilities and would welcome their replacement or refurbishment.
But the key question for this or any other Park Lands site, is public (not private) benefit. This must NOT become an opportunity for Pulteney Grammar to "expand its campus" into Park Lands.
Park Lands are not development sites for private users to take over.
Pulteney Grammar and the Adelaide Harriers Athletics Club, recently received approval to keep using the Park Lands as they have done for 100 years or so. Part of their successful bid was a commitment to improving the facilities there. Clearly, improved public facilities, to allow the public to enjoy Park Lands, would be welcomed.
However the school must not be permitted to "expand its campus" across South Terrace at the expense of current and future generations
What is most concerning is that the concept plans above were prepared in co-operation with staff from the City Council, and the Council administration recommended to the Park Lands Authority that this concept plan be endorsed.
However, after hearing a deputation from APPA at its meeting on Thursday 21 June 2018, the Authority agreed that the plans above could NOT be accepted. The Authority instead urged Pulteney Grammar School and the Adelaide Harriers to scale back their plans to a more modest size, to minimise the extent of any new building's impact on the Park Lands.
In APPA's view this represents a win-win for the public, the Park, and sports groups. It is a setback for Pulteney's plans to "expand its campus".
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen what new plans will emerge.