Why has this decision been made?
In 2018, a steering committee was established to investigate the future provision of Catholic Education in the Echuca Moama district. Extensive research and investigations culminated in a clear conclusion that given our current enrolment numbers, student demand and projected population growth in the Echuca Moama district that our current site, already under pressure, would not be able to cater for the needs of our community into the future. Due to the courage of the Brigidine Sisters we have been offering quality Catholic education in this region for the past 133 years and it is important that we position ourselves to continue the Brigidine tradition for another 133 years!
What is the timeframe?
It is hoped that we might have a second campus operational within 5 to 6 years. Of course the development of a new school campus, with all of the intricate legal, political, local and state planning requirements is a complicated task. While this is our ultimate aim, delays are sometimes inevitable. We will update the community with projected timelines at regular intervals.
Where is the new site for the second campus located?
This is yet to be decided. A New Campus Steering Committee, with permission from our governing body Kildare Education Ministries, is currently investigating the purchase of land. Any land purchased will need to fit within our prudent financial model, town planning regulations, servicing requirements and our desire to find a position that best suits the needs of our community.
What about the Dickson Street Campus?
The Brigidines started our school in 1886. The iconic front building, built around Henry Hopwood’s house, along with the sacred Oak Tree planted by the Brigidines upon their arrival, hold a special place in the footprint of Echuca. We understand how sacred our site is and the spiritual connection many in our community have for our school. We are committed to being faithful stewards of our existing site and with this in mind, will also allocate funding to masterplan and then upgrade the facilities of our current site to meet the needs of contemporary learning, all while preserving the heritage and sacredness of our Brigidine story!
What will the two campus model look like?
There are many two campus schools across our state and while many tend to take the form of a Junior and Senior campus, other models are possible. The New Campus Steering Committee, in conjunction with our appointed architects, will conduct an extensive consultation process, involving staff, students and the community. Information and consultation sessions will happen at various times next year and these details will be communicated closer to the time. You are most welcome to contribute your ideas!
Would there be movement between the two sites?
This is dependent on how the two campus model is set up. Ideally there would be movement possible, particularly in the interests of maintaining flexibility for curriculum delivery. This would be a factor in determining an appropriate site, as quick and easy access between both sites certainly increases the options available for our students.
Would the Leadership Structure of the school need to change?
While both sites would be overseen by the Principal, a Leadership structure would need to be adapted to suit the purpose, structure and educational philosophy of each site. Once a two campus model has been confirmed, work will begin on developing a leadership structure that suits the function and purpose of both sites, while keeping the needs of our students paramount.
Who are our Architects?
We recently conducted an extensive and rigorous process to appoint an architect to guide us through the next phase of planning. Clarke Hopkins Clarke, emerged as the successful candidate. They are a large firm with extensive experience in educational design and have successfully managed numerous large scale projects. We are very confident of the direction, guidance and leadership they will provide to this exciting project.
How will it be funded?
A rigorous financial model, independently audited, will underpin this project. Funds will come from a variety of sources including consolidated revenue, capital grants and loans.
Will our fees increase?
There is no intention to increase fees, outside of normal inflation rises. Our governing body, Kildare Education Ministries, and the Leadership Team are committed to continuing to offer affordable, equitable and inclusive education for all our families.
Will we need new uniforms?
We will continue to operate as St. Joseph’s College Echuca, with our identity the same across both campus. Uniforms have changed over the years but at this stage there is no plans to make major adjustments to our uniform.
Where can the community go to find information on the project?
As previously mentioned there will be a number of community consultation sessions. In addition we will also update and release information in the following ways:
- Here on our website.
- Regular updates through our digital media.
- Display Walls and information brochures at school
Will the new campus be energy efficient?
Sustainability is a crucial element of our decision making and is inherent in our school values and current strategic plan. Undoubtedly this will be a critical consideration during the planning and consultation phase.
Can we see proposed plans of the new site/buildings?
Yes. Once Master Plans and Building Plans have been approved we will display these at school and on our website.
Please feel free to contact our front office at school on 54822577.