Vertical Catholic school will go to university

Catholic Education Services’ Sally Towns, left, JCU’s Sandra Harding, David Craig and Bishop James Foley at the school site at JCU (Supplied)

When built, a proposed four-storey vertical Catholic school in the grounds of James Cook University is expected to deliver an Australian-first for the Cairns education sector. Source: Cairns Post.

No development application will be required for the secondary college to be built by the Catholic Education Diocese of Cairns (CEDC) as existing approvals had already been granted under the JCU master plan.

Acting director of school effectiveness Dora Luxton said it was an exciting time for the new school project as an on-campus listening forum today heard feedback from stakeholders.

The forum heard from Ms Luxton, Catholic Education manager of planning and building Mark Stallman, and director of James Cook University’s Cairns Campus David Craig.

“There aren’t any precedents so we think it’s important to listen to the voices in the community in relation to what their hopes and dreams are,” Ms Luxton said.

“It’s important for us at this stage before we finalise anything about the design … to have some input.”

There has been approval granted from the Office of Non-State Schools to establish the school that will employ the use of interconnected buildings rather than being one single high-rise building.

“The concept is very different, linking between floors and outside areas with lots of flexible spaces in it,” Ms Luxton said.

The college will accommodate 800 students which will slowly be added to year-on-year as new Year 7 enrolments are added.

CEDC is working toward March 2020 for the master plan to then apply for capital grant funding from state and federal government before the build will begin in 2021.

The first Year 7 class is accredited to start in January 2022.

“It is a bit unique, we are talking about the first Catholic secondary school to be co-located on a university in Australia,” she said.

“There is so much community excitement about this. It’s amazing. We want to continue to listen and to value what the community has to say.”

Ms Luxton said no budget had been decided on by the CEDC and was positive about attracting state and federal funding.


Australian first Catholic school holds listening forum (Cairns Post

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