See the pictures: Building work in full swing

As the 2023 school year draws to a close, building work at Blackfriars is ramping up.

We took a walk around the school to capture some of the work being done to create modern, innovative learning spaces for our students as we head into 2024.

St Albert Centre

Work is advancing well on the development of the Albert Centre, which remains on track for completion in June 2024.

“The Albert Centre, with the Aquinas Centre, form the centrepiece of the school’s current masterplan and will deliver bright, contemporary, state-of-the art spaces for our students to learn in and enjoy,” Principal David Ruggiero said.

“This building will further cement Blackfriars’ reputation as one of the most advanced and dynamic learning environments in South Australia.”

The Albert Centre development will create a home for Blackfriars’ new Food Science and Hospitality offerings. It will include expanded and enhanced STEM spaces, including laboratories and a dedicated virtual reality (VR) lab.

Named for the school’s Patron, St Albert the Great, the two-storey building will also house a new canteen and cafeteria space, as well as a dedicated hub for Year 9 students.

Designed by architects Swanbury Penglase and built by Horizon Construction Services, the Albert Centre will dovetail the Aquinas Centre – opened in early in 2021 – to further transform and enhance the school.

Once the Albert Centre is complete, the adjacent Maher Building will be demolished to make way for an open-air plaza.

Middle Years classrooms

The six Middle Years classrooms, between the Primary yard and the James O’Doherty Theatre, have been gutted and are being refitted with glass to create more modern, collaborative, light-filled, child-safe environments conducive to 21st century learning and teaching.

From the start of the 2024 school year, the classrooms will be dedicated to Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop and named the MacKillop Centre. An official dedication will be held next year.

“Mary MacKillop is an outstanding example of someone who – to paraphrase, her own words – saw an injustice and did something about it,” Mr Ruggiero said.

Library refurbishment

Work to reconfigure the Hallinan Library to incorporate our new Wellbeing Centre is also progressing well.

Once complete, the space will include a Junior Library outdoor learning area and a garden for the Wellbeing Centre, as well as modern, new spaces for our counselling and learning enrichment staff.

“The library refurbishment is an exciting initiative,” Mr Ruggiero said.  “Extensive work will see the first stage of the library and Wellbeing Centre transformed into a vibrant and modern space.”

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