Cairnsfoot School shifts to Brighton-Le-Sands

A special-needs school in St George will complete its $21.9 million shift this week from Turrella to Brighton-Le-Sands.

The NSW Department of Education has been looking to move Cairnsfoot School since 2009, to better cater for the needs of students.

The move will be completed tomorrow when students return for the new school year at the new premises in Brighton-Le-Sands.

The new premises on Francis Ave boasts 17 new classrooms, an indoor pool, a hall, playground, bike track, library and administration facilities.

Cairnsfoot School caters for students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities from kindergarten through to Year 12.

“The new school has been purpose built with these students in mind and will greatly enhance their access to the quality education the department is committed to provide to all students in NSW Government schools,” a Department of Education spokesperson said.

The school roll is not expected to change during the shift, with the school catering for about 100 students.

Some of the issues the Department of Education had with the old site, in Turrella, included a heritage building which could not be redeveloped, as well as the terrain around the school not being flat making it hard for students with mobility issues.

“Many features of the previous site made it less than ideal for students with certain disabilities.”

Principal Lesley Bruce said she was excited about the new premises.

“It is purpose built, has flatter terrain and up-graded facilities. We can cater for a wider variety of students,” she said.

The new site was previously occupied by the former Brighton-Le-Sands Bowling Club, combined with land owned by Rockdale City Council and the Department of Planning and Environment. All buildings previously on the site were demolished to make way for the new school buildings.

The estimated final cost of the project is $21.9 million, according to the NSW Department of Education.

The department has yet to determine the future of the old Cairnsfoot School site on Loftus St, Turrella.