Melanie Graham and Corynne Woodger with their excited daughters Bronte and Lyla-Rose on the first day of the new St Ambrose Catholic Primary School. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Tweed Daily News
Melanie Graham and Corynne Woodger with their excited daughters Bronte and Lyla-Rose on the first day of the new St Ambrose Catholic Primary School. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Tweed Daily News Nolan Verheij-Full

Students make history at $5M school

DO YOU remember your first day at school?

These kids will.

St Ambrose Catholic Primary students, from Years 1 to 5, were the first to walk through the gates of the new $5million Pottsville school at the start of the 2015 school year.

Kindergarten students follow this week.

The school boasts cutting-edge facilities, include moving walls, interactive whiteboards, Apple TVs, video conferencing and slick toilets. Alan Woodger, dad of five-year-old Bronte, said the school's modern facilities were a drawcard.

"It's just new and fresh," Mr Woodger said. "This town is starting to get a fresh buzzy feeling about it. It's a cross between Byron and Gold Coast now."

Mum Shryn Priest moved kids Logan, 9, and Levi, 5, from Burringbar Primary to St Ambrose because it is a feeder school for Mount Saint Patrick College, Murwillumbah.

"It's (Mt St Pat's) getting harder to get into because they are cutting down class numbers," she said. (Mt St Patrick was contacted but did not wish to comment on whether this was the case.)

Just before popping the streamers to celebrate the historical opening at the first-ever assembly, principal Brian Laybutt told the 142 new students: "You will all look back to this day and say I was there, and that's a very special thing."

He told the Tweed Daily News the new school would alleviate the pressure on Pottsville Public School, which now has 740 students enrolled.

Acting St Anthony's Parish priest, Fr Paul McDonald, will provide religious instruction to students.

A new purpose-built road for the school, Charles St, remains under construction.

There is a stage two and three planned for the new school.

The school fees at St Ambrose will be the same as those of St Anthony's Kingscliff, which is $2050 annually.

St James Catholic Primary in Banora Point is $2230 annually. Tweed Valley Seventh Day Adventist College starts at $1800 annually from kindy. Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar remains the most expensive local private primary school at $5400 annually.



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