St Patrick’s Lochinvar to benefit from funding announcement

On Friday 18 March, Parliamentary Secretary for Hunter, Scot MacDonald MLC, visited St Patrick’s Primary School, Lochinvar, and announced a $1,801,203 grant towards the construction of learning and administration areas at the school.

The funding has been provided under the NSW Government’s Building Grants Assistance Scheme (BGAS).

Mr MacDonald said the BGAS grants help schools cater for growing enrolments and refurbish or build new facilities.

“The funds are designed to help schools around the Hunter improve the learning environments for their students, giving schools contemporary facilities that reflect the learning needs of today’s students,” Mr MacDonald said.

Principal of St Patrick’s Primary School Lochinvar, Mrs Jacqui Wilkinson, was delighted with the news which she says will help the school cater for a healthy growth in enrolments.

“This grant signals exciting times for St Patrick’s,” Mrs Wilkinson said.

“Stage 1 of the building project will encompass new administration facilities and architecturally designed learning spaces for Kindergarten and Year 1 students. The design of each ‘pod’ enhances learning flexibility and features adaptable furniture and use of spaces to engage students and promote collaboration and engagement.

“This grant offer is in addition to the minimum local contribution from the Diocesan Schools Building Fund (to which parents contribute) of close to $770,000 to create what will be the Total Project Budget in excess of $2,500,000.”

Just prior to the announcement, Mr MacDonald generously spent a great deal of his time meeting with, and fielding questions from, St Patrick’s four student leaders (pictured). The students asked questions about everything from parliamentary sittings, the local economy and job retention to whether or not Mr MacDonald had ever met the Prime Minister. The students were very impressed when he confirmed ‘yes’ he had met the Prime Minister.

The students then received an exclusive first look at the architectural drawings of how their ‘new’ school will look in the near future as a result of this funding announcement.

It is anticipated that the building works will start in August/September 2016 with stage one of the project finalised by Term 2, 2017. 

The total project budget is in excess of $2,500,000 which includes a minimum local contribution from the Diocesan Schools Building Fund of approx. $770,000. BGAS is administered by the Association of Independent Schools NSW and the NSW Catholic Block Grant Authorities and funded by the NSW Government.

For more information, please click here to be taken to the official press release from Scot MacDonald.

In photo: Principal Jacqui Wilkinson, Parliamentary Secretary Scot MacDonald(MLC) with St Patrick’s School Captains: Tyler Munn, Xavier Russell, Xaviera Redgrove, Jakub McKellar.

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Emma Blackford Image
Emma Blackford

Emma Blackford is the Communications Manager for the Catholic Schools Office, Maitland-Newcastle and a regular contributor to Aurora Magazine.