In August 2008 the German International School Sydney moved to its new school campus in Terrey Hills. Terrey Hills is a rural suburb on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, surrounded by both Ku-ring-gai Chase and Garigal National Parks.
The school campus currently consists of 6 buildings which create several levels following the natural slope of the 8,100 sqm property.
The buildings are structured to represent a student’s educational path: the first two buildings house the Preschool (with its own outdoor area) and the Primary School classrooms. The next building is home to the Junior Secondary School and also includes a multifunction room (which seats up to 80 people) and the library. At the far end of the property one building houses the specialist rooms (science, arts, and music) and the other building classrooms for Years 9-12. The centre of the property holds the lobby, teacher’s room and both the schools management and administration offices.
The sports hall is mainly underground and with its stage it can also be used for performances and assemblies for up to 400 people.
Each building is named after a famous person – a result of a competition amongst parents, students, and staff members of the School.
The former IT lab was removed in 2009 and replaced with a mobile IT lab. This allows teachers to bring a set of laptops into the classroom and integrate the use of modern technology in any lesson. This approach is supported by a wireless local network.
The School uses the neighbouring Terrey Hills Swim School for parts of its physical education program.
Proven environmental technologies are integrated in the school campus: rainwater is collected from the roofs and is used to water the plants. The toilets have waterless urinals installed. The School produces power with the 10kW solar panels installed on the roof of the administration building. In 2009 the solar plant produced 14,655 kWh of power, which is about 10% of the School’s annual power consumption. The solar plant was installed as part of the Solar Roofs Program for Foreign Market Development by the German Energy Agency (DENA) and Phoenix Solar.
Shortly after moving to the new school campus it became evident that the buildings and facilities are too small for the development of the School. Therefore the School doubled its size by purchasing a further 8,100 sqm of the neighbouring property. Two additional buildings with 4 more classrooms and a library will be available from July 2010. At the same time the kiss & drop zone will be extended and a large play area will be available.
The construction and extension of the School would not have been possible without the financial support of the German and the Australian Governments: the German Government contributed $13m. to the new school campus and the Australian Government contributes $1m to the extension and shade structures. The School’s own contribution amounts to over $6m.