Monday 28th August saw the official Opening and Blessing of new, modern teaching and learning facilities at St John Bosco College, Engadine.
Over the past 16 months the college has welcomed two new buildings: after Easter 2016 a multi-purpose Hall complete with an attached Fitness Lab; and in the first term of this year a Technological & Applied Studies (TAS) Block. In addition, the old TAS workshops and practical rooms were subsequently refurbished to convert them to new music rooms (including a recording studio), a drama space, a science lab, plus a number of bright modern classrooms. These have only been completed in recent weeks.
The official opening took place in the new College Hall. Mr Damien Carlton, Principal of St John Bosco College, welcomed the special guests to the event – including members of the original Parish School Committee that planned and oversaw the establishment of what was originally St John Bosco High School. He then gave a brief history of the development of the
College over the past forty-plus years.
In officially opening the new facilities Dr Dan White, Executive Director of Schools for systemic schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney, praised the foresight shown in developing the modern buildings. Dr White talked about a recent trip he had made where he visited an extinct Australian volcano, and had walked safely and peacefully through lava tubes that formed tunnels beneath the volcano. These lava tubes went for long distances before opening out to the surface, where there were rich, fertile volcanic soils and lush growth. Dr White drew parallels with the safety that students would feel at a school like Bosco College, while having rich learning and spiritual experiences opened up to them.
The blessing of the new facilities was undertaken by the College Chaplain, Fr Peter Carroll SDB, who is also the Rector of the Dunlea Centre next door to the college (formerly named Boys’ Town). Fr Pete grew up in the Sutherland Shire and has a long history with Bosco College, the parish and Dunlea Centre. He indicated he felt “excited and privileged to be asked to bless these wonderful facilities”.
While inspecting the new rooms with the special guests Mr Carlton enthusiastically told them, “The College Hall is a wonderful asset where the school can comfortably hold school assemblies, masses, performance & presentation evenings, and the like. In addition the new Fitness Lab is a resource where all students have access to the latest fitness equipment and this is complementing the physical education curriculum at the school. Students have been both excited and motivated to improve their health and fitness, and encouragingly it has attracted students and staff to utilise the equipment before school commences.
“The new TAS building, with so much state-of- the-art equipment and facilities, ensures that the broad range of TAS subjects will offer the most innovative teaching and learning options. First accessed in term one of this year, students were very excited to move into this new learning environment. The newly designed industry-standard full commercial kitchen features stainless steel throughout, a large walk-in coolroom, combi oven, commercial mixer and dishwasher, plus an espresso coffee machine. An adjoining café area for functions is an outstanding addition,” Mr Carlton enthused.
TAS Coordinator, Mrs Claire Moroney, pointed out to the guests that “Senior Design students now have a custom-built design space where they can engage in a variety of design disciplines requiring specific equipment and technologies. Likewise, Multimedia students now attend classes in a purpose built multimedia room complete with green screen and Mac Computers supported with Adobe Software to extend their capabilities in Graphic and Media Design. With dedicated ‘break out’ spaces provided, students are keen to undertake both individual and group design challenges. Textiles students have been excited and motivated by the modern charcoal, raspberry and peacock interior design palette. Their enthusiasm to do project work is already evident.
“In the Workshops and Construction area students can generate timber projects using modern machinery and hand tools. Multimedia, Design and Graphics students are excited about being be part of the iSTEM revolution, and will soon be able to extend their creative skills through the highly anticipated laser cutter,” said Mrs Moroney enthusiastically. Mr Carlton explained to the guests, “We are thrilled that the long process of planning and building has led to these outstanding facilities which are bringing all students enjoyment, opportunity and enthusiasm in their studies.”
By Fr Peter Carroll SDB, Rector