The first stage of one of the most significant developments undertaken by Catholic Education SA will be unveiled on Friday November 16.
A new $10.2 million Community Sports Centre at St Francis de Sales College in Mount Barker includes four basketball courts of international standard, and gives the college one of the most modern and impressive school sports facilities in South Australia.
Work is under way on the next stages of the major $27 million development, which include a complete rebuilding of the Junior School and a new Catholic Early Care and Learning Centre co-located on the college site.
“This capital development is one of the most significant ever undertaken by Catholic Education South Australia,” said CESA’s Director Dr Neil McGoran.
“It will provide improved opportunities for families in the Hills region to continue to thrive learn and lead locally, supported by progressive approaches to Catholic education and outstanding facilities.”
Funding support was received from the State Government and the Mount Barker District Council, and both the Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Hon Corey Wingard MP, and the Mayor of Mount Barker, Ann Ferguson, will speak at the opening.
The Administrator Delegate, Rev Fr Philip Marshall, will join invited guests and excited staff, students and families and with the Parish Priest of Mt Barker, Fr Richard Morris, bless the new Centre.
The new Centre has pride of place on the campus and will be a focus of activity for the college and the wider local community in the years ahead.
Principal Mr Gavin McGlaughlin said the facility had been greatly anticipated by the local community, as evidenced by the enthusiasm of the Eastern Hills Basketball Association and the Eastern Mavericks Basketball Club to sign on as anchor tenants.
“It is a really exciting development and we look forward to the opportunity of talking with other community organisations who may be interested in becoming a part of our extended family,” he said.
“We’re also looking ahead to the opening of our new Junior School in the second half of 2020. This design will prioritise spaces that inspire children and develop a sense of joy and wonder in their learning – spaces that promote collaboration and foster interdependence between learners.”
The redevelopment will expand the College’s Junior School capacity from 350 to 500 students. The Catholic Early Care and Learning Centre will have space for 100 children aged from three to five.