The school community of Holy Family, Ingleburn has gathered to celebrate the official opening of its new parish school hall. Joining them were many distinguished guests including Director of Schools, Peter Turner and Bishop Brian Mascord, who blessed the new facilities and unveiled a plaque commemorating the occasion - the first under his leadership of the Diocese.
The new hall is a part of reconstruction plans that have been forty years in the making for both the Holy Family primary school and parish. Since 1975, the site had been used as a ‘temporary’ parish church, with the intention to construct a new church so that the building could be used as a hall.
Four decades later, with great patience and ongoing devotion from parishioners, that plan has come to fruition with a new church and new hall facilities - both designed by Brett Anderson from architectural firm, Taylor De Angelis.
Together with CEDoW Project Officer, Brendan Luckman, Holy Family’s parish priest, Fr Peter Caruana and staff from the school, Mr Anderson has ensured the finished product is both attractive and meets all the practical needs of the school.
Six months of refurbishment work has resulted in a fantastic hall that comprises a performance space, a kitchen, a meeting room and storage areas. School captains, Kate and Daniel said they loved using the new area for learning, fun and big occasions.
“I like that it has a lot of space and that it stays cool on hot days,” Kate said, “The design of the school colours on the walls makes it unique, too.”
They both said the stage area and audio-visual equipment in the hall helped make for great school and class presentations.
“It is really good that our school now has a hall so that we have an area to hold things such as assemblies, drama, debating and SRC meetings,” Daniel said, “We also now have a lot more storage space for more sport equipment.”
Holy Family has big plans for their new hall: it will be a central spot for school gatherings, performances, liturgies and student lessons, particularly when larger groups of students need to gather. It will be used by parish groups on weekends and by the Outside of School Hours (OOSH) care services before and after school. The hall will also be available for Diocesan network meetings - something the school hasn't been able to offer before this, not having had an appropriate space.
Principal, Paul Moroney expressed his thanks to all involved in the planning and development of the hall, specially acknowledging Father Peter Caruana for his commitment toward refurbishing the old Holy Family church.
“I look forward to the many and varied activities that will take place in our new hall,” he said.
“Not ever having had a hall prior to this refurbishment, the school is now able to host assemblies and many other large gatherings without worrying about the extremes of weather.”
Without any funding from government, the refurbishment of the hall relied on funds from the School Enhancement and Debt Servicing Obligation (SEDSO) at both a local and centralised level, and a parish School Building Fund.
“I would also like to thank the financial support of past and present parents and parishioners of Holy Family who, over many years, have provided funds which have contributed toward the refurbishment,” Mr Moroney said.
“The school community is so grateful to now have access to such an aesthetic and functional hall.”