The $13.7 million St Francis de Sales College and Alive Mount Barker Catholic Early Learning to Year 6 Learning Communities was officially opened on Thursday 29 April.
The opening of these facilities comes two years after the College’s $10.5 million Community Sports Centre was completed and opened in November 2018.
The redevelopment will expand the College’s Junior School capacity for Reception to Year 6 students, with Alive Catholic Early Learning Centre for children aged 6 months to 5 years.
Principal Gavin McGlaughlin said the facilities have been designed to deliver the most outstanding learning opportunities for students across all modes of learning, and provide a seamless connection between indoor and outdoor learning environments.
“We have created facilities that not only connect young people to the variety of ways of learning, but also connect to our beautiful natural environment and local community.”
The development has transformed the site to produce four new learning communities; Early Learning/Reception, Year 1 and 2 Learning Community, Year 3 and 4 Learning Community and our Year 5 and 6 Learning Community. All four of these buildings are surrounded by magnificent nature play and nature based learning spaces that utilise the site’s outstanding location in the beautiful Adelaide Hills environment.
“It was a delight to see the excitement on the faces of our students and teachers as they entered the new facilities for the first time. It reminds us why we set out to deliver spaces that enable all students to successfully engage in their learning and development,” he said.
The Most Reverend Patrick O’Regan, Archbishop of Adelaide, joined by invited guests, staff and students, and the Parish Priest of the Mt Barker and Strathalbyn Catholic Parish, Fr Richard Morris, blessed the new facilities.
In recognition of funding support received from the Australian Government’s Capital Grants Program and Catholic Education South Australia, both Senator Andrew McLachlan CSC, Senator for South Australia and Dr Neil McGoran, Director of Catholic Education South Australia, unveiled commemorative plaques at the opening.
Mr McGlaughlin expresses his gratitude to all those who contributed to fulfilling the vision of delivering these quality learning environments. In particular, the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment, the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools, Catholic Education South Australia, Catholic Early Years' Services, Brown Falconer Architects and the secondary consultants, Rider Levett Bucknall Quantity Surveying, BADGE Constructions and past and present staff, students and friends of the College.
“This is a very significant time for our community, and we are thrilled to see our new learning environments provide such amazing opportunities to develop our students’ creativity, critical thinking and problem solving skills, today and for many years to come.”
To tour the facilities call 8393 1000 or to register online go to stfrancis.catholic.edu.au/book-a-college-tour
Pictured above L-R: Dr Neil McGoran, Archbishop Patrick O'Regan, Senator Andrew McLachlan and Gavin McGlaughlin.