The site of the former South State School is humming with activity once again as work is underway on a new central administration building for Toowoomba Catholic Schools.
The Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba purchased the site in 2015, naming its central location and proximity to existing church buildings, St Patrick’s Cathedral and Parish Centre, as key in making it a logical choice to accommodate all Catholic Schools Office staff at one location.
Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba Bishop Robert McGuckin said he was delighted to be able to conserve such an important part of Toowoomba’s history whilst providing a much-needed administration site for Toowoomba Catholic Schools. “This exciting development sees the completion of a long quest to find a single home for the Catholic Schools Office whilst conserving the cultural significance of the Toowoomba South State School buildings, which are a prominent landmark on James Street,” he said.
The main school building built in the 1930s and the play shed will be retained and reused as part of the development. “Catholic schools have been educating our region’s young people for more than 150 years, making us an integral part of Toowoomba, Darling Downs and South west Queensland communities. This redevelopment provides a significant boost for the local economy and will see an injection of more than 100 workers into the southern end of the CBD,” Bishop McGuckin said.
The move could not have come at a better time according to Executive Director of Catholic Schools Dr Pat Coughlan who heads up Toowoomba Catholic Schools. “With close to 1400 staff and 9000 students, Toowoomba Catholic Schools is constantly examining how we provide the very best education opportunities for our community,” Dr Coughlan said. “The last couple of years have seen significant change as we work to further ensure we are reaching the highest of standards in academic excellence for all students within our Catholic context. We hope to be able to begin operating from this site early next year which, after many years split across three sites, will make a remarkable difference to our work in providing leadership, service and support to the 31 schools across our diocese.”
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