New $3.3 million school learning centre blessed

Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited board director The Honourable Martin Dixon, school principal Chris Dortmans, Parish Priest Father Avinash George, DOSCEL director of Catholic education Paul Velten and school captains Isla and Hugh. (Supplied)

Kooweerup’s St John the Baptist Primary School community has celebrated the blessing and official opening of their new $3.3 million Learning and Discovery Centre building.

Parish priest Father Avinash George officially blessed and opened the new facilities recently.

School principal Chris Dortmans said the project involved the removal of the former library and four older classrooms to construct a purpose-build learning centre.

“The building comprises four new general learning and break out areas, a Discovery Centre incorporating a new library, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) area, student amenities, and outdoor learning areas,” he said.

“The school’s front entry was also refurbished, a new uniform shop added, outdoor shelter and landscaping works.

“This project has created wonderful spaces for staff and students to thrive.”

Mr Dortmans said while the project was completed in 2022, they had to delay the official blessing and opening due to Covid.

“It is wonderful to now come together as a school and parish community to formally celebrate these learning spaces and thank all those who supported the project,” he said.

Diocese of Sale director of Catholic education Paul Velten said the efforts of the project team, school and parish community were obvious to see.

“These new school facilities represent Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited’s (DOSCEL) ongoing commitment to providing high quality learning and teaching environments and investment in school communities,” he said.

“By creating modern, engaging learning areas and updating the facilities for students and staff, our Catholic schools are promoting excellence in learning where students can grow and thrive in a faith-filled learning environment.”

The building cost a total of $3.31 million, with support from a $2.64 Federal Government grant under the Capital Grants Program, a $570,000 loan from the Catholic Development Fund and the school community.