Dolls Point residents have claimed a victory after it was announced that The Scots College will take over historic home Primrose House.
The Presbyterian Church Property Trust was the successful bidder after the house was put out for tender on behalf of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.
It will now be transformed into a preparatory school, operated by The Scots College.
The Scots College Principal Dr Ian Lambert said the project is still in the early stages with the property to be handed over in February.
‘’Once we get site access and make assessments, the detailed planning regarding the sequence of works can begin,’’ he said.
‘’However, it is the College’s intention that the existing building be used as a school building, so restoration works will be a priority.’’
Dr Lambert said it would be a return for the school which was founded on Botany Bay in 1893.
‘’The Scots College already attracts a significant number of students who live within five kilometres of Dolls Point, so it is a good site to service the local community,’’ he said.
‘’The Scots College also has a strong sailing program and the site’s proximity to the water is an added benefit. We look forward to establishing a relationship and working with the local sailing club.
‘’The purchase of this historic property and the establishment of a new preparatory school marks the return of the College, after 123 years, to the place of its founding on the shores of Botany Bay in 1893, when The Scots College accepted its first students in Brighton-Le-Sands.
‘’Given the history of the College and the location of this site, the new school will be called The Scots College, Brighton Preparatory School.’’
Sans Souci historian Garry Darby was one of hundreds of local residents who fought against the sale; afraid the building would be sold then demolished.
He said the sale to The Scots College was the best result expected. It is also a nod to the past when the home housed school boys in the 1930s.
‘’The Scots College is very prestigious, we don’t have anything like that in the area,’’ he said.
‘’It’s wonderful that they want to be here. There couldn’t have been a better result.’’
Fellow resident Peter Wells agrees.
‘’Everyone is very supportive,’’ he said.
‘’It’s a good end for the community.’’
Member for Rockdale Steve Kamper joined residents in fighting for the house and said he was happy it will be used for another generation.
‘’Thanks to the thousands of local residents who supported our campaign to save Primrose House, we have an outcome that will see the heritage of this historic site protected for future generations,’’ he said.
“I appreciate that Minister Dominic Perrottet has responded to the concerns of local residents by ensuring that Primrose House will not be bulldozed for redevelopment.
“Minister Perrottet took our concerns seriously and we can see in the result of the tender that developer bids have been knocked back in favour of a proposal that will build on the heritage value of Primrose House and provide a new school in a beautiful location.
“I am certain that if the Sans Souci and Dolls Point community hadn’t made their voices heard on this issue, we would have seen this community treasure lost forever.’’
South Eastern Sydney Local Health District said proceeds from the sale will be reinvested into future capital development at St George Hospital and other facilities in the local health district.