NEWHAVEN College has celebrated some momentous milestones in the last decade or so, but none more significant than the opening of its stunning $5.5 million middle school complex last week.
While construction was completed last year and students in Grade 5 to 8 had already moved into the new complex at the beginning of Term 1, a formal opening had yet to take place.
Addressing staff, students and guests in the new building’s gigantic assembly area last Wednesday morning, college principal Gea Lovell said the new complex marked another chapter in Newhaven College’s history.
“We are a college that is evolving,” she said.
“Once just a senior school, we are now a Prep to 12 college with a three school sub-structure, and a dedicated Year 9 centre.”
Ms Lovell said the dream started in 1976 when a small band of dedicated community members resolved to establish an independent Christian secondary college on Phillip Island, which led to the purchase of the 82-acre site, where the bulk of the college is now located.
In the last decade alone, the school has flourished, with the building of a Year 9 environmental centre and then a brand new junior school.
And even though the opening of the new middle school is a major achievement in its own right, it’s only one piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is Newhaven College’s master plan.
“Our next chapter will be the ($1.5m) Trade Skills Centre, again supported by a generous grant from the Federal Government,” Ms Lovell continued.
“The master plan also outlines the final chapters for the college, which will include a library and administration centre, playing fields, an Early Learning Centre, weekly boarding and a much-needed performing arts centre – all for not just the school, but for the benefit of all students and families in our region.
“This, of course, is still all some years off, but it is all part of Newhaven’s dream.”
After Flinders MP Greg Hunt and Federal Minister for Education Christopher Pyne were forced to take a raincheck due to parliamentary commitments, McMillan MP Russell Broadbent was given the honours of unveiling the plaque after delivering a speech that paid tribute to all those who have strived for decades to make Newhaven College what it is today.
“Nothing would have happened in this place had it not been for people with a vision,” Mr Broadbent said.
“To those visiting principals who are here today you will be envious when you see this facility.”
Mr Broadbent noted that the Federal Government had handed over $900,000 towards making the new middle school a reality, but it was the college itself that showed true commitment, raising $4m of the total.
Designed by Melbourne-based firm McIldowie Partners – the same architects behind the highly impressive junior school building – the middle school complex incorporates the same eco-friendly design principles as its sister building, including plenty of natural light, exposed timber and solar energy options.
The complex includes 11 classrooms, a dedicated science lab, art room, health centre, student services room, a relaxing courtyard area and, perhaps the greatest perk of all, heated flooring in the assembly area.