With the beginning of a new year, I thought it would be an opportune time to provide an update on one of the new facilities to be delivered in Baulkham Hills, being Bella Vista Public School.

The new Bella Vista Public School, which will have a capacity for 1,000 K-6 students, was originally slated to open on day one of the 2018 school year but this has been pushed back 12 months, for the right reasons.

In a new approach to delivering public facilities, the Department of Education has worked with The Hills Shire Council about utilising school facilities as shared facilities. This negotiation will ensure that the school enjoys the best facilities available and that the Bella Vista and southern Kellyville communities get to share in those facilities as well.

The design is still being finalised at this stage, but it is expected that the shared facilities will include a full size soccer field and a hall with two indoor sport courts.

While it is understandable that some people will be disappointed with the delay in delivery of the school, I am encouraged by the manner in which both the Department of Education and The Hills Shire Council have seized the opportunity to forge a new direction in the provision of community facilities, rather than taking a more traditional route of allocating facilities purely to Council or to the school.

With moveable furniture and flexible teaching spaces complemented by best practice design and energy efficiency, we will enjoy one of the most modern schools in NSW in 2019 and I can’t wait to see students enjoy the facilities on offer.