Elsie Ey Kindergarten

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Fast Facts
Type of organisation: Government

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A Brief History of Elsie Ey Kindergarten and the surrounding area.

1947 Elsie Ey kindergarten commenced operation as the Gawler Free Kindergarten in the Congregational Church Hall in Light Square. Only morning sessions were available, and as enrolments increased, it became desirable for the kindergarten to erect its own building.

1950 SA Brewing Company made land available on Murray Street.

1955 The present building was opened on land currently leased from the Gawler Council under the conditions stipulated by a 50-year lease agreement, which expires in the year 2006.

1962 An additional 15-foot wide strip of land was leased from SA Brewing Company to create a larger outdoor learning area.

1970 The committee wrote to Gawler Council expressing safety concerns with the ever-increasing traffic using Murray Street.

1972 Another 15 foot wide strip of land was leased from SA Brewing Company to create a larger outdoor learning area

1977 Toy Library was opened. In 1983 the committee borrowed money to build the toy Library extension.

1985 The kindergarten committee passed a motion stating that if the motel application was granted, the kindergarten request Council assist in relocation as a matter of urgency.

Council approved 1985 Motel development plans.

Council offered several new sites for the kindy, but each site met with some stumbling block. Between 1986 and 1989, the staff and committee thought they had solved the problem several times with plans being drawn up by the CSO for a site on Adelaide Road offered by the council. The offer of that site was withdrawn after objections to that site, council offered a site on Victoria Terrace, which was also withdrawn A couple of other sites were offered and considered by the committee

1989 Gawler East Preschool opened on land provided by the Children's services office. Enrolments dropped at Elsie Ey Kindergarten.

1990 The committee decided to stay at the present site, with lower enrolments and reduced outdoor area.

1992 The outdoor area was redeveloped, using funds originally raised to support the reloaction. Early 90s the cinema and video shop complex was constructed

1997 Cunninghams Warehouse opened

1997 Committee expressed concern about possible sub-division and sale of vacant land adjacent to kindergarten which was being used as a car park

1998 Our Management Committee wrote to the Minister of Education and Children's Services, Malcolm Buckby, requesting relocation from our present site for the following reasons.

  • Close proximity to a busy Service Station, where many petrol and gas tankers refill fuel supplies each week
  • Located in a busy commercial area, on a busy road
  • Lack of adequate and safe car parking, particularly if use of the adjacent land is not made specifically available to us, through lease or purchase (and this is the current situation)
  • Aging building in need of maintenance and upgrading
  • Relatively small outdoor area situated on roadside of the centre, impacted on by road noise, dust and vehicle emissions.
  • Unacceptable levels of background noise within the building and in the outdoor area as identified by an audiologist.
  • Lease on the current site expires in July 2006

September 1998 The Minister asked the District Superintendent, Janet Harris, to recommend a preferred site. Janet Harris invited representatives from schools, councils, DETE and kindy to meet, discuss and collate information from the community. DETE would only provide capital works funding to relocate the kindy onto DETE owned land, an existing school site. Hewett Primary School was recommended by that group as the preferred location for the kindergarten

1998 Kindergarten committee requested that the new kindergarten retain the name Elsie Ey Kindergarten.

Early 1999 Emily's restaurant was sold, refurbished and re-opened as Café Nova, a great increase in daytime patronage has reduced the availability of parking

August 2000 State Government has approved expenditure on a feasibility study. -To determine costs of relocating EEK, our toy library and FDC offices to Hewett Primary school. The Feasibility study was completed by the end of 2000, and a budget submission for the 2001 State budget was lodged

November 2000 Proposal to develop the vacant land adjacent to the kindergarten to include a family dining area, lounge, gaming room, and motel units and a car park was announced. The existing Cafe restaurant, garden and conference room will remain.

April 2001 Gawler Council sought a representation from Elsie Ey Kindergarten as neighbours of the proposed development. Based on Parent Survey responses we stated that we did not object to either the development or the installation of gaming machines once we were relocated, but requested that gaming machines not be installed while we were still on Murray street and that safety measures be implemented during construction of the new facility.

May 2001 $1,200.000 was allocated in the State Budget to relocate Elsie Ey Kindergarten to Hewett Primary School, with the project commencing in January 2002 and to be completed in June 2002.

August 2001 Council approved development plans for Murray’s Diner, dining room, function room and gaming lounge, no motel units.

November 2002 construction of new facility commenced at Hewett primary school

July 2003 new building completed, kindergarten relocates

For an in-depth history on Elsie Ey Kindergarten, please click here.

Please click here to view photos of Elsie Ey kindy.

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