|The Dawn of a New Era for Lourdes Hill - 15 September 2014|
Lourdes Hill College was in celebration mode on Friday 12 September, with the official blessing and opening of its new facilities, including the state-of-the-art Bernadette Centre, chapel and sports centre.
The largest construction project in the College’s 98 year history has been completed to make way for a growing student population and the introduction of a full cohort of Year 7 students in 2015.
College Principal Robyn Anderson said that the opening marked the dawn of a new era for Lourdes Hill.
“Our new facilities will not only change the shape of our campus – they will be changing the shape of our girls’ education,” she said.
The five-storey Bernadette Centre houses a 470 seat auditorium, science precinct and performing arts centre.
The building also comprises eight general learning classrooms designed specifically for students in Years 7 to 9, a cashless tuckshop, roof-top play area and administration facilities.
Ms Anderson said that the science precinct was reflective of the importance the College placed on science and technology.
“We see a strong future for women in science and our new learning spaces will give our students the best possible start,” she said.
“Each science classroom is purposely planned for one of the disciplines of science and will be decorated according to these themes.
“Student work will be exhibited in the corridors – a little like science museums around the globe.
“Our students will come to this precinct to have their curiosity in science and technology met and to see the importance of science for future careers.”
Ms Anderson said that the arts would also be heavily featured in the Bernadette Centre, providing students with an outlet for self-expression and the opportunity to develop both independence and collaboration skills.
“The arts are proven to enhance academic achievement and innovative mindsets, and the Bernadette Centre will allow our drama and music to become more visible to the wider school community,” she said.
“The increased prominence of these subjects on our campus will allow students to witness the vibrant, creative and stimulating environment that the arts provide.
“The building’s drama facilities encompass large classrooms doubling as intimate performance spaces with an in-built sound system and separate editing room for the production of short films and multi-media.
“There is a separate area for music, with spaces for composition, performance, group work and recording.”
Directly overlooking the Brisbane River and across to New Farm Park is the Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes, to be opened in conjunction with the Bernadette Centre.
Ms Anderson said that the new chapel would be the jewel in the College’s crown.
“The chapel features floor-to-ceiling glass walls and a stunning series of coloured glass windows designed by one of our talented art teachers, Trish Linehan,” she said.
Ms Anderson said that the chapel would be used for the College’s weekly mass, and would also be available for hire to the wider community.
“With its magnificent location and seating capacity for 160 people, the chapel will make an ideal wedding venue, particularly for our past pupils,” she said.
The third facility that was blessed and opened on Friday was the Stella Centre, a covered multi-sports facility housing two full-size courts for netball, basketball, tennis, volleyball and futsal.
His Grace, the Most Reverend Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane presided over the blessing, with State Member for Bulimba Aaron Dillaway MP conducting the official opening of the Bernadette Centre on behalf of the Minister for Education, Training and Employment, John-Paul Langbroek. The Chapel was opened by they Archibishop, while the Stella Centre was opened by Sr Bernardina Sontrop SGS on behalf of Sr Clare Condon SGS, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan.