OUR Lady of the Way celebrated an official opening of its new primary school last week, happy to have all students back on site after periods of remote learning coupled with a challenging construction process.
The Wallan East Catholic school will benefit from brand new facilities, including general learning areas, administration and staff resource areas, staff and student amenities.
The ground on which the school is located was also transformed from a muddy marsh into a nicely landscaped area, allowing for the construction of reflective quiet spaces and safe active play spaces for students.
Deputy principal Liz Stoward said it was nice to finally be open.
“We’ve been here for five years and with all the disruptions with COVID, it’s wonderful to finally be open,” she said.
“In a way it was good to wait because now we’ve got all these beautiful buildings.”
The students attended primary school at Assumption College for a term during the construction of the new facilities, housed in the Montagne Centre and separated from the secondary students thanks to a partnership between the primary school and college principal Kate Fogarty.
Our Lady of the Way principal Terry Cooney thanked everyone involved in the process, including the construction workers who were dedicated to get the school open, even continuing to weld through snow at one point.
Ms Stoward reflected on the changes seen around the school and the growth of the community during the short time the school had been open.
“This area is just growing so quickly and when we started here as a school there was not one house,” she said.
“If you have a look around now, we’re just surrounded by houses so it’s a really great spot.”
The construction was funded by the Capital Grants Program, which provides funding for non-government schools to improve infrastructure.