19 July 2022

From the Principal

Article by Mr Michael Exton

From the Principal

Dear Saint Ignatius College Geelong community members,

MacKillop Senior School Centre update

I am very pleased to inform you that construction of our new MacKillop Senior School Centre will commence on Monday 1 August 2022 with site shed preparation. The anticipated completion date for the building is 20 January 2024.

The builder contracted is Plan Group (Geelong) Pty Ltd after being selected via a thorough tendering process. I thank all building companies involved in the tendering process.

The Architects, Clarke Hopkins, Clarke provided the following artist’s impression of this exciting project. The MacKillop Senior Centre will provide tremendous learning and teaching areas for our senior students and will be a very impressive front presentation to our College buildings.

The overall project includes:

  • Demolition of administration buildings (already completed)
  • Construction of a new teaching and learning Centre consisting of:
    • 16 general learning areas
    • A dedicated maker space
    • Gallery and breakout spaces
    • 400 seat lecture theatre with associated spaces
    • Learning deck
    • Staff offices
    • Staff and student amenities

I have included a site plan below for your information. The construction site is where the old administration buildings were on the western side of the school campus and adjacent to the soccer field. The builder’s site shed will be placed on the south east corner of the soccer field, the old administration car park will be used by Plan Group for parking, deliveries and as a builders’ drop off zone.

Proposed Site Plan

There will be continued use of the northern section of the soccer field by St Thomas Primary School. However, the soccer field will be out of bounds for our students.

It is anticipated that as more trades come onsite during busy phases of the construction that this will impact on our car parking in Manresa Drive and St Thomas Church car parks. The impact on general car parking will be monitored and availability of onsite parking in our front carpark may be restricted at certain times. I ask community members using the front carpark for drop-offs and pick-ups to be vigilant and aware there may be changes to access. Safety measures will be discussed with Plan Group to manage traffic movement. I remind parents of the availability of the old Andersons Road (off Reserve Road) for drop off and pick up for students. It is a little further for students to walk but you may find this an easier driving option. And this would help us reduce the busyness of the Peninsula Drive and Manresa Drive traffic.

Discussions are ongoing with St Thomas Primary School regarding safe access and egress for their students around the site. And some of the pathways our students use in the site’s vicinity will be restricted and alternative routes will be needed to be taken.

This will be our largest building project. The overall cost is in the order of $24,000,000. We are grateful for the State Government Grant of $1,000,000 to help fund the project. The major source of funds is from a large Catholic Development Fund Loan.

Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

As you are probably aware from my email message to parents and students, we will not be celebrating this Feast Day on Friday 29th July as we had planned due to the impact of the pandemic restrictions. However we will run a special day timetable to take the time to conduct a liturgy in each Homeroom to pray with gratitude and reflect of the significance of the life and legacy of Saint Ignatius for our College and celebrate the day in a small way. We hope to run our normal Feast Day activities including the Opening and Blessing of our new Loyola Centre later in the year.

The Ignatian Year closes on the anniversary of St. Ignatius' death (July 31, 1556) which is also the Feast Day of St. Ignatius.

Best wishes for the next fortnight,

Michael Exton | Principal