Blessing of foundation stone at St Matthews Catholic School, Mudgee - Secondary Campus

Construction of the new St Matthews Catholic School, Mudgee - Secondary Campus is set to begin.

Today, Bishop Michael McKenna blessed the foundation stone, to mark this important occasion. Bishop Michael was joined for the Liturgy and blessing at the site of the Secondary Campus by Fr Owen Gibson, Parish Priest of Mudgee; Mrs Christina Trimble, Executive Director of Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst; Mayor Des Kennedy representing Mid-Western Regional Council; as well  Principal, Angela Myles and staff, students and parent representatives from St Matthews Catholic School; representatives from Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst; and members of the Diocesan Finance Council.

After more than two years of extensive planning, consultation, design and meeting extensive Government requirements, final approval was only given by the NSW State Government at the beginning of March 2021.

“200 years after the first Catholic school was established in Australia, we are still building. I thank God for the vision and drive of so many people in the Mudgee parish and community and our Diocese of Bathurst which has brought this project to this happy milestone. May the Lord guide us, not only to construct good buildings here, but also to keep improving the quality of Catholic education which it is our mission to provide”, said Bishop McKenna.

The project will see an investment of more than $33million in the local Mudgee community, entirely funded by the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst. The construction phase of the project will provide employment opportunities of up to 150 jobs on site, through local and regional procurement strategies. The project has the potential of injecting millions of dollars into the regional economy.

Mrs Angela Myles, Principal of St Matthews Catholic School, said the new secondary campus will cater for up to 680 students from year 7 to year 12 and provide 59 full-time equivalent jobs.

“We have partnered with North Construction and Building to build the new campus, which is set to span nine hectares and includes a chapel, sporting capacities, multipurpose hall, state-of-the-art music and drama facilities, purpose-built spaces for vocational education and training and dedicated hospitality rooms with café facilities”, said Mrs Myles.

“The campus will provide a flexible and unique learning environment, with an opportunity to expand current subjects such as primary industries, agriculture and construction. We are very much looking forward to its completion,” she said.

The building of the new campus is necessary, due to the current Kindergarten to Year 12 School outgrowing the present site at Lewis Street. It will see the transfer of existing students from Year 7 to Year 12 to the new campus, while the Kindergarten to Year Six students will remain at the existing school.

It is hoped that St Matthew’s Catholic School Secondary Campus will be completed for the commencement of the new school year in 2023.

Kimbalee Clews

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