Work begins on Catholic primary school for Pottsville
BUILDING is about to begin on a new Pottsville primary school which, according to its principal, will be a "showpiece" of Catholic education.
Brian Laybutt, the former principal of Murwillumbah's Mount St Patrick College, was recently named as the head of St Ambrose Catholic Primary School.
The $5 million school set on two hectares, will be situated at the end of Elizabeth St, adjacent to the Catholic church.
Final construction approval was received from Tweed Shire Council this week, with plumbing and electrics now being installed before the foundations are laid.
Mr Laybutt will have a year to oversee the school's construction before the doors open to the first students at the beginning of the first term in 2015.
Phase one of the school, which will service the southern end of the Tweed coast, will cater to up to 140 students from kindergarten to year six.
It will include seven classrooms, an administration block, library, hall and "spacious" playgrounds.
A new street, Charles St, will be built to serve as the access to the school.
Phase two, which is expected to follow soon after, will incorporate an additional seven classrooms servicing a maximum capacity of 375 students.
"We're expecting the school to grow really quickly," Mr Laybutt said.
The school will incorporate cutting edge teaching practices and architectural design including classrooms with bi-fold doors that allows classes to be combined or separated.
They will open up to a central courtyard.
"It will be a very different look to a conventional school," Mr Laybutt said.
With marketing yet to begin, the school already has 60 enrolments and Mr Laybutt is being kept busy fielding inquiries from interested parents.
Site foreman Grant Hutson from builders Cullen Group, said up to 40 workers would be employed on site, many local residents, and the school would be finished in November.