Funding sealed for new building

Sue Veling, Stuart Ayres and Christine Howe in front of the existing administration building that will be knocked down. Photo: Dale Drinkwater
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Staff at Our Lady of the Way Primary School in Emu Plains have been dodging drips in a leaky administration building for years, but they’ve finally sealed funding for a brand new facility.

The old administration building in the centre of the school is going to be knocked down, with a replacement built closer to the front that won’t leak in heavy rain.

State Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres visited the school to announce $291,735 of State Government funding to the $416,765 project, with the gap to be closed by the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.

School Principal, Sue Veling, said apart from the current building lacking in functionality, it’s in the wrong location in the centre of the school.

“We find it hard to secure the playground, and that’s why we have a surveillance system at the front gate,” she said.

“It’s going to go on the ‘cottage playground’ and will front on to Troy Street, and the current admin block will be knocked down, with that space turned into a new playground and landscaped.”

Ms Veling said by the start of Term 4, when it is completed, the new building will bring added security and better access for parents to the school.

“There will also be a beautiful children’s area for first aid, students will have a waiting area, the parents will have a waiting area, and there will be a conference room which we don’t have now,” she said.

“But most of all, no one will get wet.”

Mr Ayres said works will be funded through the Building Grants Assistance Scheme (BAGS), that is dedicated to independent and Catholic schools.

“Mums and dads who send their children to Catholic schools make big contributions, but we still think there’s an obligation on behalf of the Government to support children in any form of education,” he said.

The Catholic Education Office will allocate the remaining $125,030.

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