Old school site becomes community hub

Article image - Old school site becomes community hub Menangle old school lunch shed

Wollondilly Shire Council, New South Wales, has used the huge amount of community feedback received to create a plan for the redevelopment of the Old Menangle School Site.

Mayor, Matthew Deeth, said, “We are proud of the plan we have come up with based on the community’s feedback.

“We believe it captures and celebrates the history of the site, while also incorporating lots of new things to better service the community in the future.

“The feedback I’ve been getting so far is that this is really quite a unique plan that preserves and enhances the distinctive village feel.”

The site has a special place in the heart of the Menangle community, with the land donated by Sir William Macarthur and the initial school building completed in 1871, with an enrolment of 43 pupils.

That building was sold in 1876, and in 1906 the Macarthur family donated another half an acre for a new school building and residence.

The Menangle School Centenary was celebrated in 1971, but the school was then closed down in 1974.

Council purchased the property in 2013 following strong community lobbying against the planned demolition the old school building by the Department of Education and Training.

The site has the potential to become a strong community hub due to its location in the centre of Menangle and connection to the existing open space areas.

The master plan includes outdoor fitness equipment, a grass amphitheatre, a walking/cycling track, a refurbished old school building, open lawns, a children’s playground and nature play areas, an outdoor café/dining zone and many other features.

The master plan process allows for the development of an agreed community vision for the site. Once the master plan is adopted by Council, grants will be sought to fund the proposed works in various stages.