Construction of a new $16 million centre at Warrnambool's Emmanuel College will begin mid-year with a $2 million boost kick-starting works to consolidate operations on one campus.
The Edmund Rice Centre, a stand-alone year nine precinct, will be built in the rear corner of the Botanic Road campus. It is expected to be operational for the start of the 2025 school year.
Emmanuel College principal Peter Morgan said construction was expected to start in the second half of 2023 and take 18 months to complete.
The centre will have capacity for up to 250 year nine students and house the college's innovative 9@RICE program which began last year.
Mr Morgan said the centre was the most expensive and expansive project undertaken in the college's 150-year history.
"The development of the Edmund Rice Centre will facilitate the remaining consolidation of the Emmanuel staff and students to the one campus from 2025, and provide an exciting, contemporary learning environment reflecting the diverse approaches to learning the 9@RICE program constitutes," Mr Morgan said.
The unique, college-designed program, based at the Canterbury Road campus, focuses on resilience, innovation, community and exploration.
Mr Morgan said the project received a $2 million federal government grant through the Catholic capital grants process and the balance would be "self funded with the college reliant on parent contributions and a loan of $12 million repaid over several years".
He said the college had a goal to raise $1 million in a capital appeal, similar to ones it had undertaken for previous building projects. "Our community was amazing in their support for the Emmanuel Centre and we're hoping they will support us again this time again with the Edmund Rice Centre."
Mr Morgan said it had been in the planning stages for 12 months with the college working with architect Baldasso Cortesse to prepare the project which would go to tender in the next few months.
The architects have been consulting with staff who will work in the new facility which will be constructed over two levels.
Victorian Labor Senator Raff Ciccone visited the college in late 2022 to see the location of the new learning centre and discuss planning.
"The teachers, staff and students at Emmanuel College have built a strong and positive school community and these new facilities will further enhance our local educational opportunities," Senator Ciccone said.
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