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More than $50 million worth of building projects are underway at Catholic schools around the Far North as new colleges take shape and existing facilities are upgraded.

Among the major capital works projects in the pipeline are Stage 1 of Newman Catholic College in Smithfield, Stage 4 of MacKillop Catholic College, Mount Peter and the St Mary’s Catholic College Hugh O’Brien Centre Redevelopment Project.

St Mary’s Catholic College Principal Wayne Wood said the redevelopment was integral to the Woree school’s core values.

“This is an exciting project for our community and it brings together a key strategic priority for us, which was to be able to bring our whole community together as one family,” he said.

“This project really does celebrate the College’s proud history whilst propelling St Mary’s into its next step of excellence in education.”

The $10.7 million upgrade involves remodelling the existing sports hall into an auditorium capable of seating 1400 people, four new general classrooms, music practice rooms, staff offices and a lobby on the ground floor. The first floor will include a lecture theatre and boardroom. Construction began in April and it is due for completion late in 2021.

Other Projects:

Newman Catholic College, Smithfield

What: The $25 million first stage includes construction of a four-level building of approximately 7,000m² containing five design technology classrooms, four science lab classrooms, food technology kitchen, general classrooms, diverse learning area, a library and the administration area, as well as an indoor PE court.

When: Construction began late in 2020 and the project is due for completion at the end of 2021, ahead of the school’s opening in January 2022.

MacKillop Catholic College, Mount Peter

What: The P-12 College’s $14 million fourth stage includes eight additional classrooms and administration space in the primary school area, and music, dance, drama classrooms, food technology kitchens, general classrooms and extensions to administration areas in the secondary school.

When: Construction commenced in January and it is due for completion late in 2021.

St Thomas’ School, Mareeba

What: A $1.25 million interactive outdoor play space project, which includes playground areas, a friend circle and contemplation space, tiered seating overlooking the oval, sandpit and balance beams.

When: Construction to commence in May 2021.

A number of other projects are being planned, including a multi-million dollar outdoor learning area at Our Lady Help of Christians School in Earlville, which will go to tender mid-year. A development application has also been submitted for a two stream Prep – Year 6 school at Kewarra Beach. The school, initially for about 380 students, would not open until at least 2025.