St Mary’s Primary School, Mooroopna, staff and students gathered yesterday to celebrate the official blessing and opening of the library and classroom building.
The building took about a year to construct with the Federal Government chipping in $1.1million and the school community $700000 towards its creation.
The building has been open since term one but the official blessing allowed Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum , Catholic Education Sandhurst director Paul Desmond , school board president Glenn James and principal Anthony Butts to speak about the importance of the facility.
Mr Butts said when they were designing the building they wanted to uphold the traditions of their Catholic story and highlight how the Mercy sisters founded the school in 1936.
‘‘The arched walls of the building resemble the arches from the Mercy Cross and we also wanted to include our local indigenous heritage, so the whole building is centred around a central feature — a sunken amphitheatre — which has been named after the Aboriginal term for Mooroopna, which is deep water hole,’’ he said.
Aboriginal artist and school parent Ross Morgan painted the long-neck turtle and circular piece of art on the walls of the building.
The long-neck turtle represents the Yorta Yorta tribe, while the circular painting is the Aboriginal interpretation of a water hole.
The new building includes five classrooms, a library space and is where the Years 3 and 4 classes are held.
‘‘We put a lot of effort into making the library space an exciting and engaging place for the kids to come and develop a love of reading,’’ Mr Butts said.
‘‘We open the library at lunch and quite often the children chose to come in here and read.’’
Mr Butts said it was great the community were able to raise so much money for the new building and they were thankful to Jovaris Westland Partnership Architects and GL and DC Marshall Building Contractors.