Vision becomes a reality for St Patrick’s

By Matthew Biddle

TWO years ago, the dream of St Patrick’s Primary School in Gundagai to offer modern, integrated learning spaces for its students looked like it would never come to fruition, after the school’s application for a government grant was rejected.

But on November 3 the school community gathered to celebrate the fulfillment of that dream, as the new refurbished classrooms were officially blessed and opened.

School principal Mary Quinane explained that it had been a long process to eventually commence the improvements to the school.

“It has been a very long-held vision of mine and that of other school community members and Catholic Education members to provide students of St Patrick’s with the very best educational facilities they can possibly have,” she said.

“We put in a Block Grant Authority (BGA) application in 2013, only to be disappointed. We were unsuccessful.

Students sing the St Patrick’s Primary school song. PHOTO: LOUI SESELJA

Students sing the St Patrick’s Primary school song. PHOTO: LOUI SESELJA

“Due to a technicality, we got word in early 2014 that our application was reconsidered and the project was on track. In 2015 building finally began.”

The Australian Government provided $470,744 towards the project, while the school community and parish contributed $160,000. Catholic Education supplied the remaining $275,000 required for the project.

Ms Quinane, who will complete her time as principal at St Patrick’s at the end of this year, said she was proud of the new classrooms and thankful for the patience of staff and students during the building process. “I hope the present students and the future students enjoy the fluid, bright, integrated learning spaces for many years to come,” she said.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse, who blessed the new buildings, prayed in thanksgiving for all involved in the refurbishment project.

“We give thanks to all who have been involved in this project, namely the architects, builders, tradesmen, Catholic Education advisors and teachers,” he prayed.

“May your spirit, O God, continue to guide our students and teachers in every aspect of learning, today and through the years which lie ahead.”