Early buildings at Bishop Druitt College

Wednesday, 31 May 2023

May 1992 – After extensive searches for a suitable site by Mr Bill Ward, seconded from TAS Armidale mid 1991, the 23rd site of 8.8 hectares was chosen. Bishop Bruce Schultz of the Grafton Diocese approved the purchase from Jock McGregor for $356,000. There were several concerns regarding water supply in the case of fire, cost of linking to the sewerage and the effects of the proposed motorway close to the western boundary. Nevertheless, the Development Application was lodged with the Coffs Harbour City Council on 15th May 1992.

It was noted that the spur would make a good place to erect the buildings. Barrie Ross, the building design consultant suggested a central spine and a courtyard with buildings around.

April 1993 – Turning of the First Sod ceremony was conducted by Bishop Bruce Schultz, 8th Bishop of Grafton.

August 1993 – Kerry Wilson from Fletcher Constructions was given the task of erecting Stage 1 of Bishop Druitt College in 1993.

October 1993 – Unveiling the Foundation stone by Ken Langford-Smith, Headmaster of TAS and the Right Reverend Bruce Schultz. The Foundation Stone was donated by the late Keith Logue. This building contained two offices and three learning spaces.

July 1994 – Foundation Day saw the opening of Bishop Druitt College by Bishop Schultz. The Guest of Honour was the well-known Australian poet, Les Murray AO.


November 1994 - The opening of the hardcourts funded by the Parents and Friends Association

September 1995 – Opening of the Science and Technology Centre by Ken Langford-Smith. This was the first Secondary School building that contained a Science laboratory, two smaller classrooms above a computer room and art room.

February 1996 – The extension to the Primary School was opened by Bishop Schultz and comprised an office, a staffroom and five new classrooms.

March 1997 – The Creative Arts Centre built by F M Glenn Constructions with foreman Kevin Hartley, incorporated a second science laboratory, a D&T workshop, a teaching kitchen, a textile room, a drama room adjoining a tiered performance space and two classrooms. It was opened by Reverend Canon Austen Day, Rector of Christ Church St. Laurence, Sydney.

February 1998 – Vic conducted a naming ceremony for the patch of land over the creek to the west. It was a cleared parcel of land named “Margaret’s Field” after his wife, artist and teacher, Margaret Ackland.

March 1998 – The Junior Primary Centre that provided five classrooms was opened by the new Bishop Philip Huggins. He also dedicated the Senior Studies Centre on the southern end of the school. This building offered a central computer laboratory with visual contact to four surrounding teaching spaces. Underneath was used as an Art Room, two change rooms/toilets and a PE store.

September 1999 – The Library and Visual Arts Centre was opened by the Honourable Tim Fischer AC MP, former Deputy Prime Minister. The library contained three research spaces above two art rooms, a computer room, storage, and a staffroom.

July 2000 – Professor Roger Woodward AC OBE, (Classical Piano, Sydney Conservatorium of Music) officiated at the opening of the School of Music. This building contained two domed music/teaching rooms, several small tuition rooms, and a staffroom above four general purpose learning areas.

May 2002 – The new Seniors’ Studies Centre to the north of the library was officially opened by Bishop Philip Huggins. It incorporated a seniors’ common room, a sizable kitchen, toilets and 6 teaching spaces.

February 2005 – Bishop Philip consecrated, what was once a Drama space under the Secondary Library, the Chapel dedicated to St Francis and St Clare. Saint Clare of Assisi is an Italian saint and one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi.

March 2009 - The Stage 3 two-storey building accommodates 8 classrooms with several withdrawal rooms, a performance space and the IT Centre. At this time another room was built to join the original Primary block to the Junior Primary block, replacing the LRC room.

March 2012 – An extension to the Library by Ken Langford-Smith, gave the Primary students their own space to read and research.

June 2013 – The Branson Centre was opened by Victor Branson, Foundation Principal. The auditorium seats over 1200, has two full-size indoor court areas for basketball, netball, volleyball, badminton, tennis, and Futsal as well as a large stage area, gymnasium with cardio equipment and free weights, four classrooms, portable stage and equipment.

May 2014 – The Roger Oates (Hospitality) Centre was opened by Roger Oates, second Principal of BDC and offers a large professional-standard training kitchen, cold-storage an adjoining function room, an alfresco area and herb garden.

2015 – The Uniform Shop and covered parent pick-up area was built. The original uniform shop was part of the Admin Building and then moved for many years to under the Music Block