On July 29, Our Lady of Mount Carmel (OLMC) Catholic Primary School Waterloo announced a much-welcomed facilities upgrade.
The building program will bring improved site accessibility, a new community space and playgroup, in addition to playground makeovers and a garden facelift.
School Principal, Margaret Holles said she wanted every child to feel at home and inspired in this inner-city haven.
“We want the new playgroup and community space to promote a sense of wellbeing, belonging and community among our existing and future students,” Ms Holles said.
The reception area will also be relocated to the Elizabeth Street-facing hall on the school property as part of the three-stage capital works program.
Stage 1 is set to get underway this school term.
“By the end of 2023, all classrooms will have new furniture, new carpet and new walls, creating learning environments that promote wellbeing and provide opportunities for inspired teaching and flexible learning,” Ms Holles said.
“The environment will complement our pedagogical principles for promoting student growth.”
Ms Holles made the surprise announcement to parents and grandparents gathered at the school for a liturgy to celebrate both the grandparents and the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
“We’re wanting to provide outdoor learning opportunities and to give our students every opportunity to let their light shine – to experience success and to be challenged to be their best self,” she said.
Ms Holles told the families the “modern makeover” would also include a new “contemporary” school crest and uniform.
“The new crest embraces our historical colours while showing a strong connection with the Gadigal people whose land our school stands on,” Ms Holles said.
She described it as a “momentous day” and “a really exciting time in the school’s history”.
OLMC is one of Sydney’s most historically significant Catholic schools, opening in 1858, with an enduring strong connection to its community and the Parish of Sydney City South.
“After two-and-a-half years here, I see great potential for the school to grow and evolve with the surrounding community, while at all times honouring the strong traditions of the area and its Peoples,” Ms Holles said.
Ms Holles said the building works would not impact upon lessons.
“Construction works are expected to cause no disruptions to students’ learning as the hall is disused and the surrounding area is a teachers’ car park,” she said.
“Parents will pick up and drop off from the end of Kellick St, and additional supervision will be in place, especially while families adjust to the change of location.”
- Relocate the reception area from the school entrance to an Elizabeth Street-facing hall on the property
- Major refurbishment of Eileen O’Connor Hall
- Admin area upgrade, including new sick bay, staffroom and parent meeting room
- Create a new Teacher Work Area closer to classrooms, where teachers can engage in
- professional learning, data analysis and collaborative planning
- Refresh the Elizabeth St frontage (clean the sandstone and landscape a fenced section into a small garden with illuminated signage)
Stages 2 and 3
- Improve site accessibility, including covered walkways between classrooms, the library and admin block
- Improve access from Elizabeth St, including installing a lift for mobility and pram access
- Build a new community space and playgroup
- Give buildings an exterior facelift
- Upgrade existing playgrounds, increasing the opportunities for natural and interactive play equipment