Cardijn College to build $18.5M Senior School and Centre for Innovation

The great Australian dream is to own your own home on a half-acre block. In this day and age, this has changed significantly as we live in times where land close to the centre of the city is very expensive and at a premium. Medium-density housing and apartments are becoming the new wave of modern living for Australia. Affordable housing continues to be the major challenge for governments as we wish to ensure the dream continues to be possible for our children and their children.

At Cardijn we began in 1984 with very simple buildings and the school was completed in 1989 with classrooms and specialist areas. The Gymnasium was not realised until 2003 which also included the roundabout and the administration area. In 2008 we were able to upgrade our science laboratories and art studios. In 2010 we were able to commission our Language Learning Centre (Faulkner House) as part of the Building the Education Revolution from the Kevin Rudd government. In 2017, we completed our new library and special education centre and the refurbishment of Mitchell House. In 2018 the new Music Centre was opened and this year we took official ownership of the new maintenance compound. (Stage 1). We are eagerly awaiting the completion of Stage 2 which includes the already commissioned Food and Technology Centre, the new sports change rooms, the new student central which is critical to the next phase which is Stage 3.

Stage 3 is a new senior school centre complete with STEM and robotics laboratories which form part of an $18.5M development project at Cardijn College’s Noarlunga Downs campus. The new centre’s design will explore the notion of a meeting place providing a vibrant student space for social exchange, interaction and collaborative learning. The centre reflects the College’s commitment to innovation and ensuring that we are a leading provider of education in the southern suburbs.

Designed by Tridente Boyce, the contemporary building will feature a cafeteria, a spiritual retreat, STEM and robotics laboratories, and extensive informal student breakout spaces, a design technology centre, visual arts, fashion technology and Year 12 learning areas. The internal space will be an extension of the outdoor student hub which is currently under development.

The centre will become the College’s creative hub which will encourage collaborative learning and sharing of ideas and the centrepiece of the continued capital development that has occurred at the College over the last 20 years. Construction is anticipated to commence by mid-2020 and be completed by the end of 2021 at a cost of $18.5 million.

This new development is the 3rd stage of a $42M development program now in its 2nd year for Cardijn College and is by far the largest single project in our masterplan. The new development will be welcomed considering the rapid enrolment growth at Cardijn College from 1002 in 2018 to a projected enrolment of 1320 across two campuses, a 32% increase which does include the transition of Year 7 to secondary in 2019.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, a Catholic secondary co-educational school (7-12) in the southern region of Adelaide with a total of 1120 students and 140 staff. Marcellin is a campus of Cardijn College. It provides students in Years 10 to 12 with SACE, training and apprenticeships. It has an enrolment of over 155 students and 30 staff. Paul has been the principal at Cardijn College since 2005. He has a Ph.D. from Curtin University in Science and Mathematics Education. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.

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