Closure of SAC Strathfield campus proposed
The Seventh-day Adventist Schools (Greater Sydney) Ltd has advised staff and parents of the proposed closure of the Strathfield campus of Sydney Adventist College, including the Adventist College of English, at the end of 2012. The Auburn campus will remain open and is proposed to expand to a full Prep to Year 6 program. It is also proposed that the Vineyard Childcare Centre in Mona Vale cease operations at the same time.
The proposal was formulated in response to falling enrolments and the need to direct resources to other growing Adventist schools. The secondary enrolments at Sydney Adventist College fell from over 550 students to 146 students in 23 years. Pastor Michael Worker, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Greater Sydney, said the Church engaged in wide ranging consultations and thought long and hard about the proposed closure because of the historic significance of the College to Adventist Education in Sydney. “The company which operates our schools has faced some very difficult financial challenges over the last 10 years. While profit is not our objective, we cannot continue to sustain significant deficits. This situation and the uncertain economic climate have forced us to propose the closure of the Strathfield campus,” Pastor Worker said.
While the demand for a Christian education provided by Adventist schools in Sydney is steadily increasing, demographic changes led to the drop in enrolments at Sydney Adventist College, Strathfield campus.
The Church proposes to sell the property and use the funds to reduce debt and fund future projects in other Adventist schools in Sydney.
“We must be able to direct significant resources to those schools which are growing and which urgently require additional facilities such as Macarthur Adventist College, Hills Adventist College (Kellyville Campus) and the relocation of Wahroonga Adventist School.”
The company is currently consulting with the 41 staff affected about the proposal. Students and parents are being counselled about alternatives for completing their education. The Church greatly appreciates the efforts of staff who have worked tirelessly in an effort to try to keep the College viable, and for the support of families whose children attend the campus. The Adventist Church remains excited about the substantial growth of Adventist education overall in region and remains committed to expanding facilities to meet the added demand in the areas where schools are growing.