College opens new buildings at Isabella
St Mary MacKillop College has celebrated the Official Blessing and Opening of its new Providence Building and Fr Julian Tenison Woods Laboratories at the Isabella Plains Campus.
The unveiling of the two new buildings took place after the College’s Opening Mass on 20 March, with both events coinciding with MacKillop’s 20-Year Celebrations.
Both buildings honour the work of Fr Julian and Mary MacKillop and the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, the religious order they founded. According to Principal Michael Lee, it was fitting to unveil the buildings during the College’s anniversary celebrations.
“Each of us here belong to the story of Catholic education and these splendid buildings are the latest chapter in a story of sacrifice, toil and hope,” he said.
“Catholic schools all over this archdiocese and indeed around the country were built by our ancestors, often with their own bare hands. They built them so their children could go to a Catholic school, for their grandchildren, and for the children of generations beyond the reach of their imagination.
“This school acknowledges the life’s work of each of the Sisters of St Joseph who educated generations of Australian children for 150 years. What we want to do here is to continue their work, and to flavour the lives of our students with a story of faith, courage, hope, and of trusting in God’s providence.”
With more students choosing to complete Year 12 at MacKillop, the buildings have provided the College with six modern science laboratories and six new classrooms, as well as collaborative learning areas, flexible study spaces, a new senior courtyard, and staff facilities. The buildings themselves have been designed with the environment in mind, utilising recycled brick, translucent cladding to allow light in, and a design that ensures energy-efficient occupant comfort.
The rooms of the new buildings feature images and stories of the work of Fr Julian, St Mary of the Cross, and the Josephites, as well as the leaders of Jewish, Anglican, and Presbyterian communities of Mary’s day who worked with her to support and educate those in the margins.
A range of guests came to celebrate the event, including the three past principals of MacKillop, several members of the Sisters of St Joseph, Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann, members of Catholic Education and the Catholic Education Commission, visitors from other schools, members of the College community, the builders and architects, and staff and students of MacKillop.
His Grace, Archbishop Christopher Prowse, led the blessing and Sr Mary Ellen O’Donoghue, the Regional Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph, opened the buildings.
MacKillop congratulates and thanks the staff, builders, architects, curators, and designers who worked on the development, especially College Business Manager Louise Davidson, who led the project. The College also thanks the Sisters of St Joseph and Catholic Education Canberra and Goulburn.