16 August, 2023
School proposal before council
A PROPOSAL to establish a new school that could cater to up to 300 students when its six stages are completed is being assessed by Mareeba Shire Council.
A development application for the Two Rivers Community School is currently being considered by Mareeba planners for a 28-hectare site at 267 McIver Road.
The site is owned by Plum and Skender Murat and is now the subject of a Material Change of Use decision by the council to determine whether the facility can go ahead.
In the application by Freshwater Planning, acting for the applicants, the Two Rivers Community School is described as a “new educational institution in Mareeba Shire that aims to provide high-quality, holistic education to students from diverse backgrounds and abilities”.
“We believe that schools are an essential part of a growing community, and that Mareeba Shire is a growth area showing a need for local schools to meet the demand,” the application states.
“We are experienced educators and active members of the Mareeba community who have a vision of combining excellence in learning with a community-centred approach to education.
“With a combined experience of over 40 years in education in the local area and within Australia, we have the expertise and passion for establishing an institution that excels in fulfilling the needs of our students and community.”
The application outlines six stages for the proposed school, with the first to comprise two classrooms for a maximum of 50 students and nine staff.
Stage 1 also includes the construction of shared amenities, a reception and resource centre including a tuckshop and kitchen as well as a parking area and bus and car drop-off areas.
Stage 2 would increase the student numbers by 20, an additional two staff, an administration building and two new classrooms, with one being a purpose-built music classroom. As the stages progress, more facilities are proposed including a multipurpose hall and library.
By the time Stage 6 has been completed, which the applicants advise would be 2041, the school should be able to cater to a total of 300 students, and feature a Primary Precinct, a Secondary Precinct, a kindergarten, and specific art and manual arts classrooms.
The school's proposed facilities would also include modern eco-friendly classrooms, a science lab, a sports oval, outdoor learning areas and dedicated agricultural spaces.
The project also allows for a total of 68 parking spaces when completed.
The application states the school's mission is to “nurture a love for learning in students and prepare them for their future roles as positive change-makers in the world”.
“The school's values are rooted in the wisdom perspective that encourages students to seek truth, beauty, and goodness in all aspects of life,” it states.
The school's ethos is characterised by inclusivity and care for each student. The school's culture is shaped by the principle of service that inspires students to contribute positively to their communities and the common good.”
According to the application, the school's curriculum will be based on the Australian Curriculum and would incorporate place-based learning principles that connect students to their local environment and culture.
“The proposed school site is situated on land that can be used for agricultural purposes – at Two Rivers Community School, we aim to utilise the most arable land spaces to create educational and learning opportunities for our students based on the rich farming cultural heritage of the Tablelands region,” the application states.
“We will focus on innovative and sustainable farming methods. We seek to encourage our students to engage with the natural world to gain a deeper appreciation for the environment and the legacy of our farming communities.
“The school will endeavour to provide hands-on agricultural learning experiences, such as planting for food, plant life cycles, biodiversity in natural food systems, soil care, and regenerative land management.
“We will seek to collaborate and partner with local farmers, permaculturists and various field experts to expose our students to a wide range of knowledge and skills.”