TWO community groups have joined forces to press for a secondary school in the Doreen-Mernda area after the closure of Acacia College in October.

The new owners of Acacia, Adventist Schools, will not offer year 7 at Mernda when it takes over next year, sparking calls for immediate government action.

Doreen Residents Action Group and Mernda and District Residents Association recently agreed to form an alliance to lobby for a commitment for a secondary school in the 3754 postcode, known as the Doreen and Mernda Secondary School Alliance.

Alliance spokeswoman Lisa Muldoon said the sale of Acacia to the Adventist Schools as a Mernda campus for its Gilson College meant the government’s chance to buy the site “evaporated”.

“With Gilson College only offering to accept about 225 students, this leaves the current years 7, 8 and 9 students of Acacia College without a secondary college option in Mernda in 2013,” Ms Muldoon said.

She said the alliance wanted the government to commit to building a secondary school in its 2013 budget with plans to accept enrolments by 2016. She called on the state opposition for a similar commitment if it won the 2014 election. Based on 2011 census figures, there will be 1816 secondary school aged children in Doreen, Mernda and Yarrambat by 2015.