Broad smiles and beaming pride greeted visitors to St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Blackall for the official Blessing and Opening of their new Early Learning Precinct and refurbished areas on Monday 10 February.
The Most Reverend Michael McCarthy DD, Catholic Bishop of Rockhampton conducted the blessing and Rockhampton Catholic Education Director Leesa Jeffcoat opened the new facilities with parish priests, Fr Raj Kodavatikanti HGN and Fr Shaiju Lookose CMI, also in attendance together with members of the school and wider community.
The ceremony celebrated the culmination of the major capital works project completed in November last year by RAM Constructions and fully funded by Rockhampton Catholic Education.
St Joseph’s Principal Mrs Joanne Davison said the whole school community was very excited about the new precinct and facilities.
“The building consists of two new learning spaces for the Prep and Year 1 classes. These spaces have been designed to facilitate 21st Century learning approaches and encourage collaborative teaching and learning opportunities between Kindergarten, Prep and Year 1,” Mrs Davison said.
“The design includes an amazing playground which connects the learning spaces comprised largely of natural play equipment. It also features a bike track, swing and slide area.
“The new facilities are a wonderful addition to the Early Learning Precinct assisting our youngest students to learn to play, discover and develop together,” Mrs Davison said.
Further building works completed included an amenities block adjoining the existing MacKillop Centre, refurbished library space that will serve as a library and Learning Support space and a new, updated playground for the main school grounds.
Rockhampton Catholic Education Director Leesa Jeffcoat said this latest investment consolidated St Joseph’s future and ensured the continuation of Catholic schooling in the community which commenced more than a century ago.
“These significant upgrades are part of Catholic Education’s commitment to providing excellent educational facilities and opportunities for families choosing a Catholic Education for their children in the Blackall region,” Miss Jeffcoat said.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Blackall community for their ongoing support for St Joseph’s over such a long period. I am very pleased to be here with this vibrant and welcoming community to celebrate this latest round of improvements,” Miss Jeffcoat said.
St Joseph’s opened in Blackall in 1917 with the arrival of the Sisters of St Joseph. In 2013 Catholic Education opened St Joseph’s Catholic Kindergarten adjacent to the school.