Building Bishop Druitt College: A Journey of Growth and Expansion

Tuesday, 20 June 2023
Part 2: Enhancing Facilities and Creating Spaces for Learning and Community

Welcome to the second part of our series on the development and expansion of Bishop Druitt College. In this article, we will explore the significant milestones and additions to the college's infrastructure that have further enriched the educational experience for its students. Let's dive into the timeline of events and the exciting new spaces that have been created at BDC.

May 2002: Seniors' Studies Centre

In May 2002, BDC celebrated the official opening of the Seniors' Studies Centre, located to the north of the Library. Bishop Philip Huggins presided over the inauguration ceremony. This new facility provided a seniors' common room, a spacious kitchen, toilets, and six teaching spaces. With these additions, BDC aimed to foster an environment that promoted collaborative learning and student engagement.

February 2005: The Chapel of St Francis and St Clare

In February 2005, the Drama space beneath the Secondary Library underwent a transformative change. Bishop Philip consecrated the space and dedicated it to St Francis and St Clare, two revered figures in the Catholic faith. St Clare of Assisi, an Italian saint, was among the earliest followers of St Francis of Assisi. This new chapel became a serene place for reflection and worship within the college grounds.

March 2009: Stage 3 Building and Connecting Rooms

In March 2009, BDC unveiled the Stage 3 building, a two-story structure that added eight classrooms to the college's facilities. The building also incorporated withdrawal rooms for focused individual or small group work, a performance space, and an IT Centre. Simultaneously, a new room was constructed to join the original Primary block to the Junior Primary block, replacing the LRC room. These expansions provided additional learning spaces and improved accessibility between different sections of the college.

March 2012: Extension to the Library

Recognising the importance of fostering a love for reading and research from an early age, BDC expanded the Library in March 2012. Renowned architect Ken Langford-Smith designed the extension, creating a dedicated area for primary students. This new space allowed young learners to explore books and engage in independent study, encouraging their intellectual growth and development.

June 2013: The Branson Centre

A significant milestone in BDC's journey came in June 2013 with the opening of the Branson Centre. The auditorium, named after Victor Branson, the college's Foundation Principal, could accommodate over 1200 people. The state-of-the-art facility featured two full-size indoor court areas suitable for basketball, netball, volleyball, badminton, tennis, and Futsal. Additionally, it included a large stage area, a gymnasium equipped with cardio equipment and free weights, four classrooms, a portable stage, and other supporting amenities. The Branson Centre emerged as a vibrant hub for sports, cultural events, and community gatherings.

May 2014: The Roger Oates (Hospitality) Centre

In May 2014, BDC unveiled the Roger Oates Centre, named after the college's second Principal. This center catered specifically to hospitality and culinary training. It featured a large professional-standard training kitchen, cold storage facilities, an adjoining function room, an alfresco area, and an herb garden. The Roger Oates Centre equipped students interested in the culinary arts with a modern and well-equipped space to hone their skills.

2015: Uniform Shop and Covered Parent Pick-Up Area

In 2015, BDC enhanced its facilities with the addition of a Uniform Shop and a covered parent pick-up area.