From the Head Master
As the middle of the calendar year approaches, this may be an appropriate point to update the community on the progress with the various building projects that are underway across our campuses.
Development of facilities is an ongoing reality in the life of schools. Sometimes this is required by growth, as we are seeing on multiple school sites around NSW. Sometimes new facilities are required in order to enable new educational offerings, or to facilitate new approaches to teaching and learning or school structures and processes. Sometimes school facilities come to the end of their useful life and are no longer fit for purpose as the needs of schools change.
It is not difficult to find analogous situations in multiple other contexts. Many families undertake renovations as the needs of the family change; many others choose to move. In the workplace, office relocations and new fit-outs are commonplace. The particular challenge for a school undertaking building works is that our refurbishments and developments tend to happen while we continue to inhabit the site. While this entails living with some inconvenience, as anyone who has remained in their home throughout a renovation knows, one finds ways to improvise, adapt and overcome, which provides all that much more appreciation when the work is completed!
At the Preparatory School, the task of reconfiguring the south-western wing of the Llandilo building is progressing significantly quicker than expected. Families who see the building regularly will have noted more of its external form as scaffolding is removed and the focus of construction shifts to the fitting out of the interior. We are currently expecting the Year 5 and 6 boys to move into the new spaces at the start of Term 4. At that point, the demountables will be removed and work will shift to changing the ‘oval’ to become an all-weather external playing court; this work is expected to be completed by Christmas. We anticipate a formal opening ceremony will take place at the start of 2022; more details will be provided in due course.
At the Field Studies Centre in Woollamia, the two staff residences have been completed and both the Head of Campus and the Director of Outdoor Education will have moved onsite by the start of next term. The classroom block, which is needed as we move to the extended Field Studies Programme in Term 4 2021, is also nearly complete. There will be a formal opening of the classroom block on Saturday 14 August 2021; this is the date of our inaugural FSC Open Day.
The Open Day is intended to provide all members of the extended School community with the opportunity to visit our FSC campus. We anticipate the opportunity to attend being of particular interest to the Year 9 2022 cohort, each of whom will spend a term living there, and their families. While we anticipate running this Open Day on an annual basis, I encourage all of our families who would like to begin to become familiar with the FSC to consider visiting on 14 August, either as a day trip or as a weekend getaway to mark the end of the CAS winter sport season. More information about the Open Day will be provided early next term.
The major building project that looms before us is the Renewal Project, which is the major development of the Summer Hill campus. The original information about this development may still be found on the School website. Our State Significant Development Application is in process with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, which is taking longer than we hoped. Nonetheless, we are optimistic that approval will be granted within the next couple of months. Whilst the approval process grinds on, behind the scenes work is progressing with finance, procurement, and design.
As always, there is a lot going on in the life of the School. Thankfully, most of it is about the boys and their learning in the context of the School community. The buildings, current and future, provide the background, which is the way that it should be. The School is, primarily, the people.
Detur Gloria Soli Deo.
Tim Bowden | Head Master
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