Manly State School Grapples with Devastation Following Boxing Day Storm

Families returning to Wynnum and Manly after the festive holidays have been confronted by scenes of destruction int he wake of the Boxing Day storm. Among the affected areas, Manly State School bears significant damage, with one of its buildings losing its roof.

Shocking photos reveal the extent of damage in the area, prompting a surge in calls for assistance from the State Emergency Service.

Manly State School Recovery Update

Despite the structural damage, the school is grateful that no injuries were reported and is determined to rebuild and continue serving the community.

Manly State School officials expressed gratitude to the Manly community for their support and kind wishes. The school reported that builders are already on-site to assess and repair the damaged building. A future working bee is planned to involve the community in the recovery effort.

Builders are working diligently to make the damaged area safe and to isolate the solar system on the damaged roof. Safety fencing will be erected to allow limited access to the school grounds for vacation care, to fully reopen to the public in a few weeks. 

Local Community Initiative

Residents rallied to clear debris and trees blocking roads. Iconic trees along the foreshore were also uprooted, adding to the post-storm challenges faced by the community.

Regrettably, the wild weather also led to the tragic death of three individuals, including a local teacher, in a boating accident off the coast of Manly.

Some local businesses, such as Mate’s restaurant and bar in Wynnum, sustained damage from the storm. Cracked ceilings and water damage were reported, causing disruptions to operations.

SES Response and Ongoing Assistance

Local Controller for the Brisbane City State Emergency Service Unit, Lowry Boyd, reported a continuous stream of requests for assistance as the storm barrelled the city. SES units from other regions have also offered help, but resource constraints have limited their capacity to assist.

Mr Boyd emphasised that many of the storm-related issues could have been prevented with proper preparation, such as clearing gutters of debris, securing loose objects, and trimming overhanging tree branches before a storm.

Meanwhile, Brisbane City Council is offering support to residents affected by the storm by providing free sandbags at various locations and allowing free green waste disposal until 31 Jan 2024.

Boyd also asked for patience from the community during major events, as the SES primarily relies on volunteers who may also be affected by the storms. Response times may be extended, but every effort will be made to address all requests for assistance.

Published 28-Dec-2023

St Paul’s Parish to Relocate for Manly State School Expansion Project

St Paul’s Parish will be moving to Anglicare SQ Chapel at Edwin Marsden Tooth Memorial Home (also known as Lota House) after selling its church premises to the Education Department. The decision was made in consideration of the planned expansion of the Manly State School.

“The Parish of St Paul’s has voluntarily opted to sell the site of our current church to enable the expansion of Manly State School,”  St Paul’s Anglican Church March 2022 Notice of Public Meeting said.

The notice furthered that the decision was a proactive response to the church’s “ministry context” and for the benefit of the Manly community. Despite the sale, the parish, however, will continue to service the local community.

“While this is a sensitive subject, everyone from the Bishop to the local MP and many others have expressed how impressed they were with our professional approach, community culture and Christian love,” St Paul’s Parish Priest, Daniel Hobbs wrote in his May 2022 Pastoral Message.

“I was truly gobsmacked by how well the Public Meeting went! With this important piece of work behind us, we move now to two tasks that require input from our whole parish: 1) Lota House Chapel restoration and 2) Our model of ministry for when we get there.”

Manly State School is set for major expansion with a new multi-storey building to enable the school to keep up with its enrolment growth. The $11.6-million learning centre will contain general learning spaces plus a music centre and an outdoor learning space.

Currently, the Manly SS has a maximum capacity of 707 students. Last year, enrolments have risen to 701 from 657 the year before. The expansion project has been welcomed by bayside locals including Councillor Peter Cumming who recognised the need for more learning spaces and play areas at the school.

Manly State School’s neighbouring place of worship, St Paul’s Parish Church on 99 Ernest Street, had its timber hall constructed in 1914 with succeeding developments in 1932 which saw the addition of a sanctuary, an altar and chancel as well as the construction of the vicarage. It was not until 1964 that the church was built on the same site.

New Learning Centre, Outdoor Centre Coming To Manly State School

Manly State School is set to have a new $11.6-million, multi-storey learning centre and an outdoor centre to cater to the school’s enrolment growth, brought by the housing boom in the bayside suburb.

Read: Manly Median House Price Grows By 16% As Buyers Seek the Sea Amidst Lockdown Lifestyle Changes

Manly State School’s enrollment surged from 2019 onwards, as many young families relocated to the suburb in hopes of seeking a more relaxed lifestyle. From 657 students in 2019, the school’s enrolment increased to 701 in 2021.

Photo credit: Manly State School/Facebook

Because of the trend, the State Government has allocated $11.6 million for the construction of a multistorey learning centre which consists of six general learning areas, a music centre and an outdoor learning area.

Besides the learning centre, a new $550,000 outdoor learning area is currently being planned for Manly State School. Now in the design phase, it will allow students to engage and learn in an outdoor environment whilst providing to various learning needs of all students.

Manly’s Median House Price Growth

Photo credit: Peter Mines/Google Street View

Based on data from Property Market Updates, Manly’s property values grew by 16.01 per cent from July 2020 to June 2021, compared to $844,750 in the previous year.

What attracts families and downsizers to Manly is its relaxing and quiet seaside vibes as many buyers are seeking lifestyle changes.

Another factor that brings people close to Manly is the continued growth of residential projects in the area. Two of the biggest developments coming to Manly are 191 Stratton Tce, a residential complex with 42-units and retail space and The Village Manly, a 100-unit luxury retirement village with two four-storey and two six-storey buildings.