State School 4738 opened on a site bounded by Highlands Avenue, Parer Road and McNamara Avenue in 1958. Enrolments reached 710 by 1969, with many parents employed at nearby Essendon Airport. However, declining enrolments led to the school’s closure at the end of 1993. The site was cleared to make way for a housing estate.
The Public Record Office Victoria holds many photographs of day to day life at the once vibrant primary school. Sports days, festival days, busy library – you name it, Parklands did it. But once the music died and the school was closed, developers leapt in. It was an attractive prospect too, as evidenced by the sale price of $1,337,550 in the mid 1990s.
The Government of the day initially claimed that Parklands Primary had been ‘merged’ with Niddrie Primary School, following the findings of a ‘quality provision taskforce’. This practice was repeated across Victoria, whereby schools were ‘merged’, with the more valuable school site sold off to the highest bidder.
Parklands Primary School, Airport West – an active Facebook public group