The Andrews Government commits to vertical school at Fitzroy Gasworks site

The Andrews Government commits to vertical school at Fitzroy Gasworks site
The Andrews Government commits to vertical school at Fitzroy Gasworks site

The Andrews Labor Government has committed to delivering a senior secondary campus for Collingwood College and Fitzroy High School on the site of the Fitzroy Gasworks, should it be re-elected in November. $84 million will be allocated towards building a senior secondary campus as part of the Fitzroy Gasworks Precinct, increasing the capacity of both schools, allowing at least 650 extra students.

Design work is already underway on the vertical school after the State Government allocated funding in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 towards planning and design of the new senior campus. The project would create around 250 new jobs during construction, with the campus opening in 2022.

The campus would add to the vertical schools completed or underway in Victoria including the South Melbourne Primary School in Fishermans Bend, Prahran High School, and the two campuses of Richmond High School. Planning has also commenced on a further vertical secondary school within the Wirraway Precinct of Fishermans Bend, adjacent to the JL Murphy Reserve.

The Andrews Government commits to vertical school at Fitzroy Gasworks site
Before and after - the indicative master plan for the Fitzroy Gasworks site. Image: Development Victoria

The former Fitzroy Gasworks site is located at 433 Smith Street and is bounded by Smith Street, Alexandra Parade and Queens Parade. The 3.9 hectare site forms an integral component of Fitzroy North’s industrial and social heritage vision for the site is to create an urban village that combines housing, educational and recreational uses complemented by open space.

On 19 July 2018, the Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne approved a Planning Scheme Amendment to rezone the Fitzroy Gasworks site from Public Use Zone (PUZ1 and PUZ6) to Mixed Use Zone and Public Use Zone (PUZ2). The site rezoning allows for the development of a vibrant mixed-use development supported by community facilities and public open space. The Minister for Planning will be the responsible authority for the site, with final designs requiring approval from his office in accordance with the new Development Plan. 

The redevelopment of the site is being managed by Development Victoria on behalf of the State Government, with the government body progressing the development of the site, including managing the site’s remediation. According to Development Victoria, The Fitzroy Gasworks' location, coupled with its proximity to transport corridors, public transport, centres of economic activity and open space make it ideal for a medium density mixed-use development. 

The site is contaminated due to its former function as a gasworks and remediation of the site will require excavation of up to 12m of soil, which will be transported to a facility where it will be treated and disposed of. A Remediation Action Plan is currently being drafting and subject to EPA approval, remediation of the site could commence in early 2019 and is expected to take up to two years to complete. 

Following community consultation undertaken by Development Victoria between 2016 and 2017, community and stakeholder feedback has been used, along with other information to develop a concept master plan for the site, with the following elements expected to comprise the final design for the precinct:

  • 1,100 apartments, 20 per cent of which will be social/shared equity/affordable housing
  • a 650-student senior high school to provide extra capacity for students from Collingwood College and Fitzroy High School
  • a six-court sports facility integrated with the school and catering for a range of sports
  • a community facility to be developed in consultation with council
  • all site car parking to be located underground, with bicycle parking above ground
  • eight per cent of the site to be offered as public open space, with additional open space associated with residential development 
  • adaptive reuse of the Valve House and relocation and restoration of the Porter Iron Store (subject to approval by Heritage Victoria
The Andrews Government commits to vertical school at Fitzroy Gasworks site
Indicative aerial of how the Fitzroy gasworks might develop. Image; Development Victoria

What they say...

Families across the inner-city deserve to know their kids will be able to go to a great local school. With this new senior secondary campus, delivered as part of the Fitzroy Gasworks Precinct, Labor will make sure they do. Whether it’s here in the inner city, or right across the state, Labor is building new schools so that every child has every chance.”

- Daniel Andrews, Premier


When it comes to our schools, there’s no clearer example than Fitzroy High. The Liberals cut and close, Labor invests.

- James Merlino, Minister for Education


We promised local families a new senior secondary campus at this site – and that’s exactly what Labor will deliver with the new school set to open in 2022.

Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning & Member for Richmond

Lead image: Development Victoria

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.

Fitzroy Gasworks Fitzroy North Collingwood College Development Victoria Fitzroy High School

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