Buildings in Schools are important in that they provide opportunities for new programs and innovative ways of learning. They are also important in that they are instrumental in creating a pleasant, exciting learning environment and generally improve the amenity of a School site.
Following the completion of the Science Design and Technology Building in 2002 and The McIntyre Gymnasium in 2003, the focus for new developments fell on library facilities in both the Junior and Senior Schools. Both facilities were old and tired and needed to be
re-envisaged and revitalised. In 2006, the Junior School Library was relocated to the lower level of the Bright Building. The move enabled the provision of a modern, exciting space which presents the best of learning opportunities for the younger members of the School.
The Senior Library presented similar challenges. Built in 1968, this facility offered a traditional library space which focussed almost entirely on printed material and whose structure emphasised more traditional learning processes.
With the opportunity to proceed with a new and more contemporary facility, the task of exploring the concept of a new Learning Centre was undertaken. Two questions were addressed:
1. What aspects of the School educational programs should be embraced with the new Centre?
2. What should such a Learning Centre look like to provide for the range of learning activities which students will need to engage in, in future years?
Early discussions crystallised three key tenets:
1. Such a Learning Centre should be located within the central area of the School, in order to offer opportunities for students from as many Faculties as possible, in the most practical manner, to engage in the learning spaces.
2. The Learning Centre needs to provide for students to exercise many different preferences of learning eg. individual learning, small group learning and class-size learning emphasising collegial and interactive approaches, research based learning, and recreational engagement.
3. Books and computers will both be the conduits of information and knowledge with the new Centre.
With these tenets in mind, a detailed design brief was completed at the beginning of 2008, and the task of designing the Centre was taken on by Architect Emeritus Professor Peter McIntyre and his team.
Construction commenced in November 2010 by building firm CDK Construction Ltd and the new Centre for Contemporary Learning was ready for use on Day 1 of Term 1, 2013. The building will be officially opened by His Excellency the Honourable Alex Chernov AC QC Governor of Victoria, on Friday 22 March.
This magnificent facility will be enjoyed by boys over many decades and will provide an exciting, flexible environment, which will enable boys to learn in the most effective ways, within a complex, rapidly developing educational future.