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Land sale 'final piece of puzzle' for new preschool

Jarjum Preschool in East Lismore is gearing up to relocate to Goonellabah.
Jarjum Preschool in East Lismore is gearing up to relocate to Goonellabah. Cathy Adams

THE designs are drawn up, the land is available, now the heads of a not-for-profit preschool for disadvantaged kids have one more hurdle to jump through before they can start to build their new school.

Lismore City Council moved unanimously at Tuesday night's meeting to continue negotiations with directors of Jarjum Centre Inc to determine an appropriate sale price for their new parcel of land at Clifford Park, Goonellabah.

It came after Councillor Eddie Lloyd's amendment was unanimously passed by councillors that also included talks with directors to identify what support it needs from council for the project.

Initially, the council proposed to sell the land for about $160,000 or as per the valuation amount for the Cassia Crescent address.

Cr Vanessa Ekins said Jarjum preschool would be "the perfect use” for the Goonellabah location and that council "should do the best we can to minimise the cost”.

During public access, directors Marita Cavanough thanked the council and the community for their on-going support.

Vanessa Parker, Teearn Bruce, and director Maurita Cavanough from Jarjum Aboriginal Preschool are hopeful a new site has been found for the centre. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star
Vanessa Parker, Teearn Bruce, and director Maurita Cavanough from Jarjum Aboriginal Preschool are hopeful a new site has been found for the centre. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star Cathy Adams

Now, Ms Cavanough said it was crucial they were "given the opportunity to purchase the land at Clifford Park below market value”.

She said the land sale was the last piece of the puzzle to bring their plans for a beautiful new school into fruition.

Concept design of the proposed Jarjum preschool in Goonellabah.
Concept design of the proposed Jarjum preschool in Goonellabah. Contributed Studio Rogier

It has taken years of community fundraising for the embattled school to be able to make the move from its existing, dilapidated building at Rifle Range Road, East Lismore a reality.

Councillor Bill Moorhouse quizzed Ms Cavanough about how the old building would be used.

She responded with a range of ideas including the sale the property if needed or to seek partnerships such as Southern Cross University language hub to utilise the space.

Topics:  jarjum preschool lismore city council northern rivers development northern rivers education



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