Parents have gathered in protest in front of Bassendean Primary School, unhappy with the location of the school’s new car park.
An administration block was built on the existing parking area, which resulted in the Education Department building a 22-bay carpark over the oval.
The angered parents are petitioning either to stop the construction and find another location for the parking bays.
Mother and one of the leaders of community Facebook page Save Our Play Space Kylie Turner, told InkWire the total area per student at the school was much lower compared to nearby schools, such as Ashfield Primary School.
“At the moment, we have 21sqm per child, based on current student numbers and near-amount measurements of the school oval, and after the carpark goes in, it’ll be 18sqm per child,” she said.
“Ashfield, the very next school over, has 95sqm.”
On average, the nearby local schools which include Guildford, Eden Hill, Anzac Terrace and Ashfield have approximately 57sqm per student, according to a photo uploaded on Save Our Play Space.
Ms Turner said during school athletic carnivals, the 100m race was actually closer to 75m.
“Overcrowding is an issue. Kids can’t play football or field activities without running into each other or injuring themselves,” she said.
Mother of a former Bassendean Primary student Nonie Jekabsons said she realised the practical importance of the oval and said the interaction in green space was essential to good mental health.
“It’s not just losing an integral social area, but also the amount of green space available for the students,” she said.
“Psychological studies have shown that it’s detrimental to their mental health and performance at school.
“I think overall, reduction in available green space to children could have a long-term negative effect.”
Ms Jekabsons grew up in the area, and attended Bassendean Primary School herself.
She said the school’s interactive environment was definitely more practical then.
Joyce Tasma, a grandmother of a student, commented on the overall fault of the carpark planning.
She said the location of the new carpark – West Road, was busy at any time of the day, and a dynamic approach would be a better option to save open space.
“I understand the administration building going in, but I was also in another student council, in another very old school,” she said.
“They were able to build up, rather than another building to take land space — there were alternative options, but this was just the easiest option.”
She also said parents and the community were not given enough time to discuss different options.
Members of the community are committed to finding a way to save the oval, and have gathered nearly 500 petition signatures.