Dear Premier of NSW, Kristina Keneally,
Past discussions for the Old Kings School, Parramatta have focused around turning the large and historic site into an Arts and Cultural Precinct which would be open and available to the whole community. This site could contain a large gallery/exhibition space, production space for all artforms and an arts education centre for students of all ages which is drastically lacking in the region.
In a public article, Bishop Anthony Fisher OP of The Catholic Diocese of Parramatta has proposed that they should be given the NSW State Government owned Old Kings School site, to be turned into an administration block (offices and private use) and for Diocese services. Turning this beautiful site into office space for private use would be tragic to the community. For more information about the article see: http://tinyurl.com/3899wew
The Old Kings School is centrally located to the Parramatta CBD and accessible to current infrastructure such as public transport. It includes a large complex of buildings, with a combined floor space of approximately 5000 square metres. Most of the buildings are currently vacant and in a dilapidated state. The Old Kings School is adjacent to the current cultural precinct of Parramatta. This includes the Riverside Theatres, Parramatta Heritage Centre, Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE), Prince Alfred Park and the Parramatta River. This is an idea site for an Arts and Cultural Precinct.
History of the Site
The Old Kings School is located on the banks of the Parramatta River, between Marsden Street, O’Connell, Street and Victoria Road. It was the second site for the Kings School which dates back to the early days of the colony. In 1834 it was handed to the Anglican Church to establish the Kings School, the first large public boarding school providing secondary education in Australia. Over the years the school buildings were enlarged and remodelled and service buildings added. After the relocation of the King's School in 1968 to Pennant Hills Road, the site was sold to the NSW Government and became the Marsden Rehabilitation Centre. The site has been unused for a number of years (except a part of one building) and the sits in a dilapidated state, boarded and fenced up.
This state and culturally significant site should be kept for public use and turned into an arts and cultural precinct.
THE NSW STATE GOVERNMENT SHOULD
• KEEP THE OLD KINGS SCHOOL IN PUBLIC HANDS
• REJUVENATE THE OLD KINGS SCHOOL TO ITS FORMER GLORY
• TURN THE OLD KINGS SCHOOL INTO AN ARTS AND CULTURAL PRECINCT FOR THE WHOLE COMMUNITY TO USE.
• OWN CULTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE IN WESTERN SYDNEY
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