A NEW building extension at St Paul's College in Walla has marked the first stage of the school's redevelopment master plan.
The Wenke Building Extension, which was officially opened by Farrer MP Sussan Ley on Monday, is the first part of a long-term plan to overhaul many of the school's facilities.
The new building creates four separate learning areas, which can be altered to change into one large room, or two separate learning spaces.
It has also been fitted out with new desks and state-of-the-art IT equipment.
School principal Donald Walkley said it was an exciting time for the college.
“This fits in with our teaching and learning strategies, it's a flexible teaching and learning space that creates an opportunity to take our students to the next level,” he said.
“It means we can work with the students in different contexts, it can be four classrooms, or two, or even one big room, and that creates purposeful teaching opportunities.
“Current pedagogy and research is indicating we have to continually search for ways to respond to our students’ learning needs, and there's teaching methodologies coming out which are proving to be very effective.”
With the plan to renew many of the college's buildings now in full effect, Mr Walkley said it was a very exciting time for St Paul's.
“It adds to the vibrancy of the place,” he said.
“The students are loving the new building.
“The college has a master plan to keep developing, this is the beginning of renewing the college facilities and creating contemporary learning and teaching spaces.
“There's a lot of energy around the community now, it gives us something to strive for.
“We believe our kids deserve the very best, and we'll continue to strive to achieve that.”
The extension, which cost a grand total of $970,000 to build, was partially funded by a $400,000 grant from the federal government's block grant program.
Farrer MP Sussan Ley said being able to work in a modern environment would be of huge benefit to St Paul's students.
“The type of lessons teachers can deliver, the attention of the students, it's all enhanced by the environment they're in,” she said.
“Compare this to a dusty classroom where chalk is falling off the board, it's too hot, too cold, uncomfortable, and you can see how the learning experience is enhanced.
“It's vital for schools to have modern classrooms, and that's why the block grant authority is there for independent schools, through state governments and the Catholic systems.
“It's a huge resource for schools to be able to make those upgrades.”