The present Suffolk Street, Mt Clarence site is the third site for Albany Primary School since 1896. The State School opened in 1896 at the Serpentine Road site that is now the Albany District Education Office. A Junior or Infants and Senior school were on the same site for nineteen years.
In January 1915 the Infants School was opened on Albany Highway for students in Years 1 – 3. The Senior or State School took students from Years 4 – 7. The two schools operated independently until 1974 when the Primary and Junior Primary Schools amalgamated to become one Albany Primary School. Extensions of a library, three classrooms and a cluster block were added along with a Covered Assembly Area and new toilet block in the 1990s.
As businesses extended further along the highway parking became a problem and the school began to be built out. Play areas were not large enough and the buildings began to show their age. No new facilities such as purpose built art and music rooms or the latest in technology were available to an old school. The idea of a new school began to take shape.
With much parent consultation and searching for a suitable block it was decided to relocate to in front of Albany Senior High School. The new school has extra large classrooms that are able to be opened up to double the space, purpose built art and music rooms and the latest in information technology and computer networking. There is also an on site Pre Primary, Kindergarten building and larger play areas.
Albany Primary School was built during the last half of 2001 and was first occupied on 15th April 2002. On that day the whole school population of students, staff, parents and past students, assembled at the Albany Highway site for a last Assembly and lowering of the flag. Then everyone marched to the new site in Suffolk Street where a short assembly was held and the flag raised. It was a very colourful and happy / sad occasion as each class carried banners, flags or mementos from the old to the new site. . Before leaving the old site each student and staff member tied a “memory strip” to the fence saying goodbye to the old site.
On arrival at the new one everyone tied a “wish strip” to the fence saying what they hoped for the new school.
Prior to this the school was located in Albany Highway in what had been the old Infants School. This was opened in January 1915 after being part of then State School established in 1896 in Serpentine Road. The two schools operated independently until 1974 when the Primary and Junior Primary Schools combined to become one Albany Primary School.
About seven years ago the idea of a new school began to take root. The Albany Highway site was too small (2.8 hectares) for adequate playing space and vandalism was beginning to be a problem. The old style buildings were costly to maintain and inadequate for modern teaching methods. This meant that it was very costly and nearly impossible to keep up with modern technology. There were no specialist rooms for music and art and none would be provided because of the age of the school. As well, the area around the school was being built out and encroached upon by business outlets making access and parking difficult.
Under the umbrella of the LAEP programme staff and parents began to lobby for a larger site, modern classrooms, specialist rooms and up to date technology and also maintain easy access for children within the boundaries. The result is 4.3 hectares and a school with purpose built rooms for Art and Music, on site Pre Primary for both four and five year olds, Education Support rooms should there be a need in the future, Covered Assembly Area, canteen and 14 larger than standard classrooms with every two rooms able to be opened up to make one teaching area.
While the style is traditional, the result it is a very modern, light, airy and functional building that looks good and serves its purpose well.