Ground broken for new building at Southern Highlands Christian School

GROUND BREAKING: Greg Johnston, Lilli Hessenberger (Year 11), Sebastian Nastase (Year 7), Livinia Brake (Year 6), Hamish Riley (Kindergarten) and Andrew Middleton turn the first sod of the building. Photo: Lauren Strode

GROUND BREAKING: Greg Johnston, Lilli Hessenberger (Year 11), Sebastian Nastase (Year 7), Livinia Brake (Year 6), Hamish Riley (Kindergarten) and Andrew Middleton turn the first sod of the building. Photo: Lauren Strode

It’s always exciting when school buildings get a face lift.

Every few years, a classroom may get a fresh paint job, or a block gets extended with a deck.

Or if a school is really lucky, the old room referred to as ‘the sweat box’ finally has air conditioning installed. Sometimes a school doesn’t just refurbish what it has but instead creates something entirely new.

2017 will be one of those years at the Southern Highlands Christian School.

Ground has now been broken on the new early childhood block.

The new building will not be a traditional one, but rather an open plan design without internal walls, accommodating two Kindergarten classes alongside Year 1. 

The project has taken more than a year to plan.

Southern Highlands Christian School principal Andrew Middleton said it was exciting that construction could now get underway.

“It’s an encouraging milestone,” he said  

“Our school has been growing for some time now, reaching a double-streamed Kindergarten this year. I’m genuinely excited that we’ve reached the point of creating a new home for some of our most precious students.”

Year 5 and 6 classes will move into where the Kindergarten and Year 1 classes are now once the building is complete. Site manager Greg Johnston said plenty of research had gone into the new building.

“We’ve conducted thorough research into innovations of educational engineering,” he said.

“We believe the open plan design offers some great benefits, and we’re proud to be one of the few pioneering schools in the country to put it into practice.”

Mr Middleton said the new building was an opportunity for teachers to expand on outdoor learning at the school.

“Educationally we love kids being out and about, not just in front of devices,” he said. “I can contract and expand ground depending on what I’m doing. It also means I can apply the three different levels. We can have kids moving, I can have kids sitting on the ground and kneeling on big balls and have stand up desks.”

The project is due to be completed and functional later this year.

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