Addressing invited guests at the opening ceremony last week, Chair of the SA Commission for Catholic Schools, Professor Denis Ralph, said the completion of Stage 1 of the project was only the beginning, with planning for Stage 2 already underway.
“Today is a significant day for Catholic education in South Australia, a significant day for the staff and students of Xavier College at this impressive new educational facility in Two Wells,” he said.
Professor Ralph said as further stages of the project were completed over the coming years the campus would grow to accommodate more than 1000 students from Reception to Year 12.
Located in the Liberty Estate, the $10 million Stage 1 development includes seven classrooms, a resource hub, breakout learning area, administration, maker space and outside play areas.
The focal point is the impressive Lynn Martin building, named in honour of former Xavier principal Lynn Martin who passed away in May last year. This building provides a large hub for gatherings, for celebrating Liturgy, holding assemblies, hosting guest speakers and performers.
Unveiling a plaque to officially open the building, Lynn’s father Brian Martin AO, thanked the Xavier Board, staff and students for remembering “our much loved Lynn” at the “beautiful” new campus.
“Although Lynn would have been most embarrassed by this gesture, deep down he would have felt very proud,” Mr Martin said.
“He always felt proud to have been a student, teacher and then a leader at several colleges in the great Catholic education system. However, he was fulfilled when he was embraced by Xavier College and the charism of St John Bosco which is so central to the special feeling one gets when you walk through the beautiful broader campus.
“Standing here in this new building, it has got a wonderful character, a feeling of airiness, a place where you feel happy to be here.”
Archbishop Patrick O’Regan blessed the building and campus, also extending his thanks to those involved in the project and their vision for education in the region.
“If you look through the history pages of Catholic Education in South Australia there has always been two elements that have come together – I see it strongly in the lives of Julian Tenison Woods and Mary MacKillop – a vision and the ability to put that vision into practice. This is the latest experience of what that means and what it looks like,” he said.
Xavier College principal Mark Flaherty said the first day of school at the campus on February 1 was a significant milestone in the history of Xavier, as it became a R-12 college.
He said welcoming the almost 160 students in Reception to Year 6 – together with campus head Janet Coomber – had been a “special day”.
“Yes, the building is impressive, but for Janet and I the smiling faces of parents, students and staff really made us overwhelmed. We were so welcomed by the community,” he said.
Several organisations involved in Stage 1 were acknowledged on the day, including the Hickinbotham Group, Land Australia, Mossop Constructions, Edge Architects, the Adelaide Plains Council, Sharpe family and Catholic Education Office.
Two Wells is the 111th Catholic school campus in South Australia and one of a number of expansions happening across the State.
The Riverland’s first Catholic secondary college – St Francis of Assisi College in Renmark – will open next year, while Catholic schools in Wallaroo, Clare, Peterborough and Murray Bridge have building works underway as they prepare to expand beyond primary schooling to cater for students in Years 8 and 9.Jump to next article