Old Collegians help shape future of St Patrick’s College

September 4, 2023

Some of the Old Collegians who are helping design and build SPC’s new Performing Arts Centre, expected to be completed in December.

A group of Old Collegians is proudly helping shape St Patrick’s College for future generations.

The former students are working on the College’s new $20 million Performing Arts Centre – one of the biggest capital works projects in the school’s history.

The Old Boys have contributed to the design and construction of the centre, as well as the delivery of the project.

The state-of-the-art facility, which sits on the Wanliss Street side of the College adjacent to Kennedy House, will be one of Ballarat’s largest indoor auditoriums with a seating capacity of 835.

St Patrick’s College Principal Steven O’Connor said it had been wonderful to welcome back and work with so many Old Collegians on the project.

“We are really proud that so many Old Collegians have contributed to the design and construction of the Performing Arts Centre, and it has been terrific to work with these people in this process,” he said.

“From the architectural team, John Wardle, to the construction company, Nicholsons, to so many sub-contractors who are Old Collegians, it is great to know that all of these people know how significant this building is and how it will further improve this great school for so many students.

Mr O’Connor said the diversity of involvement of Old Collegians highlighted the breadth of learning opportunities at the College.

“We have Old Boys who are architects, project managers and site managers, as well as a good variety of trades all contributing proudly to the Performing Arts Centre. In many ways, this reflects who we are as a school and how proud we are of those who graduate from SPC and go on to great success in their chosen careers,” he said.

Nicholson Construction director and Old Collegian Stephen Allen (SPC 1997-2002) said it was an honour to work on such an important project for the College.

“This state-of-the-art performing arts centre demonstrates St Pat’s commitment and investment in providing students with a well-rounded educational offering,” he said.

“As an Old Collegian of SPC, I look back on my years at St Pat’s and the connections and relationships I formed with great appreciation. The ability to contribute to the College for the students of next year and beyond is a privilege.

“It’s been great to have so many Old Collegians working on the project through both design and delivery, and share stories of our experiences at St Pats.”

Lead Architect and Old Collegian Luke Jarvis (SPC 1993-1998) said it was deeply meaningful to be able to contribute to such a significant building on the school campus.

“Designing a building for a place that once taught you holds a profound and personal significance. It’s a convergence of nostalgia, growth, and creativity that transcends mere design work,” he said.

“SPC was a place that once played a pivotal role in my development, providing knowledge, skills and a foundation for my career in architecture.

“This project has been a way to contribute to something meaningful and lasting to the history and lineage of the school that will benefit current and future students or visitors.”

Project coordinator and Old Collegian Elliott Lamb (SPC 2013-2018) said it had been rewarding working with other former students on the performing arts centre.

“Working with numerous consultants and subcontractors who are also Old Boys to help deliver what is to be an integral part of the school’s operations moving forward is something we all are proud of,” he said.

“The facility will bring a new means for the school to allow students with aspirations in the performing arts sector to learn and develop their skills. With capabilities for multipurpose mode the building will also serve the school as a warm and aesthetically pleasing space to hold functions, assemblies and other major school events.”

Mr O’Connor said the College was committed to offering the best possible opportunities to students.

“St Pat’s is really excited about our new Performing Arts Centre and the incredible opportunities this facility will provide our students from next year and for generations of students to come,” Mr O’Connor said.

The performing arts centre, which received $2 million in State Government funding, is expected to be completed in December and ready for use in 2024.