Schools hold their sites in sacred trust across the generations. This School has had the same magnificent site since 1895.
Barker has been located on its current site since 1895 and successive generations of leaders and families have contributed to the beautiful campus we see today. Naturally the educational landscape has changed immeasurably within that time and as such development work and refurbishment of key spaces are a key part of Barker’s Master Plan in order to provide the best facilities for our students. Our School dreams of contributing to a sense of hope, of confidence and capacity for young learners. We are thinking of the students of Barker today, whilst building with the future in mind.
An aerial view of the proposed site plan. The final number of car parks following the delivery of the aquatic and tennis centre and co-curricular performing arts and exam centre are also shown.
Planning for the Future
Across Greater Sydney, there is an ever-increasing demand for high-quality coeducation. Barker is taking steps now to accommodate student demand and be a good neighbour.
Barker’s transition to coeducation, which commenced in 1975, has seen demand grow, becoming one of the top coeducational private schools in Australia.
In response to this need, Barker is seeking approval through a State Significant Development Application (SSDA) for upgrades to - an aquatics and tennis centre to replace ageing facilities, improved pedestrian infrastructure and a new co-curricular performing arts and exam centre.
The SSDA is also seeking an increase in a historic cap on the School’s student and staff numbers to meet increasing educational demand.
What’s the latest?
In November 2022, we officially lodged plans with the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE).
If approved, the master plan will:
- Improve the management of student drop off and pick up, minimising impacts on neighbouring residences
- Minimise traffic queuing caused by drivers waiting to collect students
- Ensure no net loss of parking on campus at any time, including during the construction of new facilities
- Improving pedestrian safety to and from public transport to encourage its use
- Incorporate a significant portion of new landscaping to provide a green buffer between the School and its neighbours.
The main features include:
Improved traffic management and no net loss of parking on campus at any time, specifically:
- Increasing internal student set-down areas to improve student drop-off and pick-up and reduce congestion at the entrance from and exit to College Crescent.
- Improved traffic management by increasing internal student drop off and pick up areas, which will minimise traffic queueing caused by drivers waiting to collect students.
- The addition of car parking underneath each new facility to ensure no net loss of parking on the campus at any time, including during the construction of new facilities.
- Development of a Green Travel Plan to reduce the use of private cars by driving-age students, by staff and by parents dropping off and picking up students.
- Upgraded pedestrian links, including a new pathway to connect the Rosewood Centre to the Junior School Campus to improve pedestrian access and safety. This will also improve the flow of traffic on the School Campus and surrounding public roads. New pathways will also improve wheelchair accessibility in and around the School.
- Additional greenery around the edges of the campus providing a screening for surrounding residents towards the views of the School.
- Purpose-built landscaped pedestrian linkages through ‘The Avenue’, which was recently purchased from Hornsby Shire Council, to improve pedestrian access to and from the School via Unwin Road to the Pacific Highway.
- A new co-curricular Performing Arts and Exam Centre on the south-western corner of the Unwin Road and Clarke Road intersection.
- An Aquatic and Tennis Centre on the north-western corner of the Unwin Road and Clarke Road intersection, including an indoor pool and roof-top tennis courts.
- Preservation of the main northern end of the campus to restore and protect the School’s heritage.
Harnessing the School’s passion for equal opportunity
Barker College was founded in 1890 in Kurrajong Heights and relocated to its current Hornsby campus in 1895. To continue this legacy, Barker has made a significant investment in upgrading the quality of facilities for students and staff. Under the banner of “Inspiring Tomorrow”, Barker continues to plan for its future to support the needs of students, staff and the surrounding local community.
Barker is one of the few non-government coeducational schools in the North Shore of Sydney. Each year the School is currently unable to accommodate around 200 students wishing to start their secondary schooling at Barker.
The SSDA seeks approval to increase the number of students and staff that may be enrolled and employed by the School, which was set by a previous Development Application (DA) submitted to Hornsby Shire Council in 2017. The School is now proposing a new limit of 2,850 students and 480 full time equivalent staff that may use the campus at any one time. This represents an total increase to the limit of 430 students (approximately 18%) and 141 FTE staff (approximately 40%).
This will enable Barker to continue to provide a well-rounded education that increases the opportunities for both boys and girls to access high-quality education.
Next steps – keeping the community informed
Barker is committed to keeping the local community informed about the Master Plan and offering easy and available ways to provide feedback.
If plans are approved, the timing of construction will then be determined. The first step would be the proposed traffic upgrades.
A detailed traffic impact assessment has been prepared to ensure potential impacts on residents are thoroughly assessed and mitigated.
Sharing your feedback
Barker has appointed Urbis Engagement to support discussions with the community throughout the planning process. We encourage you to get in touch to learn more about the plans.
You can call (02) 7202 1239 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will continue to keep you informed as the project progresses.
The webinar presentation is available to download here.
The community feedback received has been collated and is being considered in the current stages of design and planning.
What we have heard – your priorities
Ongoing consultation with the community is critical in shaping future planning for the School. All feedback received has been collated into a Summary of Consultation Outcomes Report that was included in the submission to the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE).
Traffic management and parking:
Barker knows managing the traffic flow in and around the School is critical to neighbours, parents and staff. To address concerns and mitigate any future impact, traffic initiatives will be undertaken as stage one of the master plan and include:
1. Increasing on-campus student drop off and pick up to:
- Keep traffic queues on-site and off neighbouring streets.
- Improve circulation by minimising vehicle merging points on-site.
- Improving safety of students and efficiency of car movement – keeping people safely on internal paths and separated from cars on internal roads.
2. Actively administering a Green Travel Plan to:
- Encourage the use of more sustainable modes of transport. The plan includes targets and actions to promote walking, cycling and the use of public transport.
- Reduce the use of private cars by driving-age students, staff and parents dropping off and picking up students.
- Introduce a range of measures and initiatives to encourage parents, staff and students to use public transport, walk and where safe, to cycle.
3. Ensuring no net loss of parking on campus at any time, including during the construction of new facilities, by delivering:
- 90 new basement parking spaces on the south-western corner, at the Unwin Road and Clarke Road intersection.
- 32 new basement parking spaces on the north-western corner, at the Unwin Road and Clarke Road intersection.
Built form and landscape:
From early community feedback, Barker understands the importance of designing with the community and surrounding environment in mind. The School has appointed a highly experienced architect Neeson, Murcutt + Neille, who were responsible for the design of the 2021 Australian Architecture award-winning Rosewood Centre, to create an efficient master plan that makes the best use of space while minimising any impacts on our neighbours.
- Substantial landscaping and appropriate building setbacks from neighbours are being carefully considered.
- The proposed landscape design will create a green screening for residents neighbouring the School and complement the surrounding characteristics of the area.
- The master plan also increases open green space throughout the School, providing additional areas for students and teachers to gather outside.
- Appropriate building setbacks and height will also ensure good sunlight is maintained to near neighbours throughout the day.