A group has been formed to push to relocate Maclean High School. Image: Contributed.
A community push has begun to relocate Maclean High due to numerous problems including the impact of the nearby flying fox colony.
A group led by residents Karen von Ahlefeldt and Linda Wright has launched the campaign to build a new ‘super high school’ in the Maclean area, with a petition and survey already gathering strong community support.
“The response from the community has been a deafening yes – the support has taken off like a train,” Ms Wright said.
Ms von Ahlefeldt added that the community wanted a new school at a new site as soon as possible.
“Now is the time, we need to plan, let’s get moving on this. The area needs a new high school – we can’t wait 10 years,” she said.
The group has cited an extensive list of reasons a new school was needed, including: inappropriate location due to proximity to flying fox colony, a flood-prone river, and cemetery; poor learning environment for students and teachers; no room to expand to cater for growing population; inadequate facilities including lack of a suitable location for HSC exams and the need for additional student places in the Clarence with Grafton High at full capacity.
The school relocation campaign also proposes restoring the current sports ground and agricultural plot to native habitat, to reduce the impact of flying foxes on surrounding homes.
“The ultimate result will be that the flying foxes will no longer need to inhabit the trees further inland behind Harwood, Cameron, Jubilee, Katherine and Kerry St houses and the evening fly-out would be along the river, rather than over the houses,” the group says in a media statement.
The community survey is also asking for ideas on repurposing the site of the school buildings.
The petition for a new school in the Lower Clarence is available at a number of local businesses.