Some of the top private schools in Sydney have submitted development applications for elaborate and expensive building expansions and upgrades. Some of these extravagant proposals include a library with a Scottish castle appearance, an orchestra pit and a chapel among other facilities.
The development applications are currently awaiting approval from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
Though these plans face disapproval from local residents, the expansion and upgrade projects at the seven elite schools are expected to cost in excess of $365 million.
For comparison, the NSW government made a total allocation of $390 million in 2017 to address maintenance issues at the state's 2100 public schools.
These seven private schools include Scots College, Loreto Kirribilli, Cranbrook, SCEGGS Darlinghurst, St Catherine's School, St Aloysius' College and Loreto Normanhurst.
Scots College has planned a major $25.1 million upgrade of its library building with the exterior cladding to be in a Scottish architectural style complete with a tower, a turret and bay windows.
Loreto Kirribilli’s $103.3 million project includes a new five-storey innovation centre, outdoor rooftop learning terraces and two vertical connection pods.
The $75 million redevelopment plan at Cranbrook will cover a new aquatic recreation centre, a drama theatre and a new academic and liberal arts facility.
SCEGGS Darlinghurst has a $48.7 million budget to construct a new six-storey multipurpose building with a pool.
An orchestra pit, a ballet studio, a playbox theatre and a new aquatic centre are some of the new extensions planned for St Catherine's School, which has a $62.5 million budget.
St Aloysius' College will get a new sporting facility in addition to extensions of existing facilities in a $30 million budget.
Loreto Normanhurst has a $20 million budget to construct new buildings and a chapel to accommodate an increased number of students.
Opposition to the redevelopment plans at these schools primarily stems from traffic and parking issues; however, questions have also been raised about the high fees and needless expansions to even competition between these institutions, akin to ‘an arms race’.