In the coming 12 months, Catholic Education SA (CESA) will undertake an extensive building program, with projects totalling more than $150 million already approved for 2020.
The capital works align with CESA’s Living Learning Leading Framework and its commitment to students to see them as ‘thriving people, capable learners, leaders for the world God desires’.
The building projects are mostly funded through loans and parent contributions. They are not only providing state-of-the-art learning environments to meet the changing trends in education but are also boosting the local economy and creating much needed jobs in the construction industry.
Peter Bleckly, senior manager of CESA Planning and Development, said it’s an exciting and busy time.
“The successful transition of Year 7 students into secondary schools resulted in several projects to create contemporary middle years learning environments to meet student needs,” he told The Southern Cross.
“What we are doing now is transforming learning environments, providing spaces that inspire students and give them the best possible educational opportunities.
“Our planning and design processes are informed by research into types of environments that bring out the best in students and staff.”
Mr Bleckly said the recently completed projects at several schools including St Martin’s Greenacres, Samaritan College, Whyalla, and McAuley Community School, Hove, were examples of “outstanding contemporary school design”.
“The new learning environments provide a variety of spaces and furniture that students and teachers can adapt to suit a range of different learning activities,” he said.
At a cost of $22 million, McAuley primary school, built by Mossop Construction + Interior, has involved about 39 different trades during the life of the project.
Construction manager Grant Mossop said at its peak, 127 contractors were working on the site, with a daily average of 86 people.
“Mossop has enjoyed being part of the collaborative team that has delivered this amazing facility, with an accelerated program for Catholic education – the people involved have all participated in an efficient process,” he said.
Mossop is one of several SA companies involved in CESA’s building program, which is also providing flow-on benefits to dozens of local contractors and consultants and hundreds of their employees.
Some of the larger projects earmarked for next year include the construction of a new school at Two Wells to meet the growing need from families in the north seeking a Catholic education. The school, which will be a second campus of Xavier College, will initially cater for students from Reception to Year 6 and will progressively include students up to Year 12.
With growing enrolments, Cardijn College in the south will also begin a major $18.5m upgrade of its Noarlunga Downs campus.
At Murray Bridge, St Joseph’s School will undergo an expansion to cater for students from Reception to Year 9. The $6.2 million development will include specialist STEM and arts facilities, together with food technology and digital media facilities.