First government primary schools project breaks ground in Parramatta
Julie Owen MP breaks the first ground with the school leaders
L-R: Greg Whitby, Lenny Pugliese, Julie Owens MP, principal Michael Hopley
A ground breaking ceremony was held on Wednesday 5 August at St Monica’s Primary, North Parramatta the first school in the Parramatta diocese and the Parramatta electorate to begin work under the Primary Schools for the 21st Century (P21) program.
The P21 program is part of the Federal Government’s $14.7 billion ‘Building the Education Revolution’ plan to construct and refurbish school infrastructure. St Monica’s has received over $2 million in funding that will provide the school with a much-needed multipurpose learning area that will benefit the whole school community and allow access to a range of high quality and contemporary learning tools for students. Other groups such as the Catholic Chinese Chaplaincy, Before and After School Care students and a range of adult learning groups will also benefit from the facility.
Special guests that attended the ceremony included Bishop Kevin Manning, Bishop of Parramatta; Executive Director of Schools, Greg Whitby; Julie Owens MP, Federal Member for Parramatta; Tanya Gadiel MP, State Member for Parramatta; and representatives from the Catholic Education Commission – Bill Walsh, director of resources, policy & capital programs and Kevin Morrison, capital grants program coordinator.
In addressing the students, Julie Owens MP said the St Monica's project was the first P21 project to commence in her Parramatta electorate and expressed her thanks to the community.
'I would like to thank your teachers, parents and the parish who continue to support your school community,' said Ms Owens.
Prior to the P21 project, St Monica’s had already embarked on a major redevelopment which will result in flexible and open plan learning spaces housed in buildings with colourful, curved walls. Teachers will be able to change the design of their classrooms to better suit the needs of their students during a particular activity. The building project, scheduled for completion in October, will allow the school to take cooperative teaching and other 21st century education strategies to the next level.
Executive director of schools, Greg Whitby, a former student at St Monica's said he had waited 50 years to see the old buildings replaced by modern learning spaces.
'It's an exciting time for your school community,' said Mr Whitby. 'These learning spaces will help support the work of your teachers in providing relevant learning opportunities for you.'
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