Diocese secures part of old King’s School site


Old King's School site
View of the site from the corner of Victoria Road and O'Connell Street. Photo: Virginia Knight.

The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, has welcomed a decision by the NSW Government to sell part of the old King’s School site to the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.

The Premier, Kristina Keneally, made the announcement on 3 March 2011 at the historic site, which the Government plans to redevelop as an arts and education precinct.

To help fund the project, the Government negotiated to sell a section of the site to the Diocese. The land adjoins St Patrick’s Cathedral carpark and is bordered by Victoria Road and O’Connell Street.

The sale represents 12 per cent of the total site at a market value of $5.5 million as determined by the independent Valuer-General based on the maximum development rights that may be achieved on the area purchased.

Bishop Anthony said the arrangements as outlined by the Premier had the potential to deliver a range of benefits for a broad cross-section of the community.

“For many years now the Church has sought to purchase the entire site including the heritage buildings that were derelict. Our proposals included the option of shared use with state and local governments and the broader community,” Bishop Anthony said.

“While the Government has decided only to sell the Church 12  per cent of the site, this still presents us with an exciting new opportunity to serve the people of Parramatta and beyond even better.

“The Premier’s announcement means this beautiful site can now be used for charitable purposes as well as the arts.

“With the portion of the site we will purchase, we will be able to extend our welfare, educational and spiritual services. This will enable us to assist a broad cross-section of the community, not just locally in Parramatta, but across western Sydney.

“We are grateful both to the State Government and to the Lord Mayor of Parramatta for their willingness to work with us in this area.”

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