The commencement of Term 2 sees some noticeable additions to College facilities.
A large screen and projector have been installed in the Year 9/10 common area of Helix, allowing quality projection of visual presentations to students within this large auditorium space. The installation was considered during the design phase of the Helix building, with its need becoming increasingly apparent over past years to maximise the functionality of the space. Whilst its application will be predominantly for student use, it will also provide additional flexibility for use during College community events and functions in this precinct.
To cater for the additional needs of student travel to and from school, and during excursions and co-curricular activities, the College has purchased a new 39-seater coach. Where possible, the College prefers to source its transport needs internally rather than hiring external services, and this addition supports that ongoing strategy of upgrading the College fleet to ensure appropriate safety and flexibility of our internally managed bus capacity. The coach has been wrapped, with our Learner Attributes and a fantastic Education Outdoors image and is now active on the roads.
The redevelopment of the Performing Arts Centre continues. This important precinct, which is very much the cultural heart of the Penquite campus, is being expanded to provide additional gallery spaces, a rear exit and stairwell, and an enhanced courtyard space. Work is proceeding on schedule with opening due early in Term 3.
Our facilities at the College are the physical manifestation of our educational philosophy. Pedagogy and functionality are the main drivers to improvements in facilities at the College. To ensure that resources are directed to those areas most in need or with the greatest long-term benefit for our students, strategic planning is important.
The College Facilities Masterplan, recently updated to enable the delivery of the strategic objectives of SOC 2035, our new 15-year strategic plan, delivers a planning framework for ongoing investment across the Elphin, Penquite and Valley campuses of the College. You can view the Masterplan here.
Two significant projects from the Masterplan are currently in the detailed planning phase for potential Board approval and construction over the next 12-18 months: i) a new learning centre encompassing four classroom and associated learning breakout spaces on the Elphin campus to cater for continued enrolment growth and enhancement of our contemporary learning environment and; ii) completion of the existing Helix building with additional development towards Penquite Road, which will complete the original design of that precinct with the provision of new learning spaces and the reinstatement of Ravenscraig. Stay tuned for the progress of these important project concepts over the latter part of this year.