Where is the site?
Officially placed at 66 Stratton Road, Echuca West
Why has this site been chosen?
This site has many important features, 80 Acres of open land to future proof our school, unimpeded by town boundaries, clear and quick travel to and from Dickson St Campus, Moama and Echuca main township, will be well serviced with bike paths. It allows space to stop wondering and start dreaming!
When will it start?
The next step will be getting the funding applications in so that we can get started. We are aiming to have those completed in early 2020. We already have preliminary Master Planning done for the Dickson St site, and will now look to have the same for the Mt Terricks site in the first half of next year. Master Planning is just the first stage – more of a footprint plan that can then be used for detailed planning relating to use of space, size and design of rooms and outside spaces etc.
We have already engaged Building Architects and appointed our Landscape Architects as well. Staff have had eyes wide open as they have already moved through new and existing builds and we will be sending off teams to look at specific elements of design and space use. The first of those on August 14.
We encourage all to keep their eyes open and be part of the conversation. Parents, Students and Staff will all be widely consulted by the architects.
What will the two campus model look like?
The Mt Terricks site will become the Junior Campus (7-9) and the Dickson St Campus (10-12). Elements relating to curriculum planning and integration, staffing and interaction levels between sites are all still to come.
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 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.