Our Building Masterplan

Why does St Mary’s need a Building Masterplan?

A school campus that adapts to the changing landscape of teaching and learning is critical if St Mary’s is to continue to provide a quality education for boys and girls in Cairns. This presents both challenges and opportunities for our College over the next ten years and it is against this background that we have embarked on the development of our Building Master Plan.

Through this Building Master Plan we aim to set out plans to ensure that St Mary’s is not simply just a great place to learn and be taught, but it continues to be a great place to be.

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St Mary's Block B and D evaluation report

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St Mary's Master Plan - CLT Presentation

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St Mary's Performing Arts evaluation report

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The journey so far

Master Planning: Consultation & Design Process

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Overview of Proposed Building Master Plan

Building Master Plan: Guiding Principles

Well-being and learning for all St Mary’s students will depend critically on:

  • Embracing our identity, vision and mission
  • Enhancing our spaces and places for contemporary learning 
  • Fostering an accessible, connected and cohesive school campus
  • Celebrating our sense of welcome and family
  • Preserving and enhancing our natural environment 

Proposed Building Master Plan: Critical Provisions

1. Redevelopment of front entrance car park - Improve parking and traffic flow, including extra car park spaces, a greater focus on safety and less congestion in and around the College grounds, to meet the future needs of the College.

2. Renovation of the Hugh O’Brien CentreUpgrade of assembly area/exam hall, which has functional limitations (a sizeable elevated stage  limits storage options and reduces seating capacity), is looking tired (aged ceiling and furnishings), lacks  suitability for purpose (the roof structure is problematic, no air- conditioning, no sound absorption, extensive set-up and pack-up time, not  effective whole-school events etc) and generally lacks a good positive visual presentation for users. This will provide significant improvement to College events and to student experience.

3. Creation of a new Performing Arts Precinct -  A recent study by the University of Melbourne confirmed our Performing Arts facilities “lack cohesion” and “disrupts flows of people and resources and the learning experiences of students”. The recommendation is to build a facility that brings all elements of Performing Arts together – “New spaces are needed that are fit for purpose and consider the whole Performing Arts program….”

4. Inspiring Learning spaces - Transform our traditional classrooms into more contemporary learning spaces, allowing a more student-focused and collaborative approach to learning. This will explore the integration of learning places (Classrooms) and spaces (break-out commons) between B, D, F and H Blocks. A key component of this is creating new spaces which adjoin existing classrooms i.e add to and enhance what already exists.

5. Relocation of Learning Enrichment Centre - Integration of our Learning Enrichment Centre into the heart of our learning spaces will allow for more effective support for our students. 

6. Creation of terraces off ‘The Concourse' - Transform spaces between C, E, G and I Blocks to provide covered outdoor learning spaces and improve student flow between ‘The Concourse’ and lower level of our campus. These will free up congestion along the existing Concourse.

7. Creation of new Chapel - This will provide a dedicated chapel space in a prominent area of our campus, strengthening our Catholic identity and mission. 

8. Development of Outdoor Plaza - Landscape open area between the Nazareth Pavilion, classroom blocks and the Oval. This will provide students with more seating and an improved community experience. 

9. Creation of rear service entry road - Implementation of a service road from our Sunbird Drive entrance. This new internal road would extend from the existing student car park and link up with the existing internal service road.

10. Discontinuation of central Car Park (between Hugh O’Brien Centre and Front Office) - Student flow through this car park is increasing, due to enrolments growth and new building developments. Improved Student safety underpins this decision. Additional car park spaces will be developed at the front of the College.

11.  Development of grandstand seating and ‘club-house’ - Establishing purpose-built seating and change room facilities beside the playing fields will enhance the quality of sporting experience for students and families.  

Site Concept 2

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