Our Library Revitalisation Project has transformed our beloved Bloxsidge Centre into an innovative and modern learning space for our Prep-Year 12 students. This is part of Component 2, Stage 2, of our Master Plan that has seen significant advancements to the College campus, facilities and environment.
This project has been largely funded from the 2020 College capital planning budget with significant support from our Parents & Friends Association. It also aligns with Stage 2 of our 13 step College Master Plan.
Below is an overview of the new features in our Library:
Macksey Rush Architects have ensured good visibility and flow through the Library while addressing the acoustic issues we have with the current building. We believe this has been achieved by the inclusion of a designated ‘pathway’ through the building, lowering of ceiling spaces and the use of glass, soft furnishings and carpeting.
Principal Graham Meertens has also shared how St Augustine's College is investigating implementing air-conditioning, with the following considerations being at the forefront of planning:
Under the Pope Francis Laudato Si project, we as Catholics need to consider the damaging effects of fossil fuel usage and the alteration it has on our global community.
Seek to investigate further our energy usage to minimise wastage that will address our Laudato Si commitment and reduce energy costs.
Use of energy saving devices such LED lighting and possible more solar panel additions.
Investing in appropriate plant life that will shade classrooms from direct sunlight.
Purchasing air conditioning products that are sustainable, energy efficient and provide healthy air to staff and students.
Ensuring power infrastructure is adequate to prevent damage to existing facilities and possible brown outs which does occur in other schools.
It is with pride our College has been considerate and given due attention to the Pope vision of Laudato Si with half the lighting changed to LED lights in 2019 and the entire school to be complete by 2021. Energy efficient air-conditioning has been implemented to conserve energy and monitor carbon dioxide levels. Additional solar panels have been added on the Senior Years Hub roof and a landscape architect has been acquired to increase our green life, including many trees planted on the oval to reduce solar heat gain.
There are state schools across Queensland that have been supplied grants and added air-conditioning quickly. Our approach is to install high-quality sustainable facilities that also monitor carbon dioxide levels and ensure the air provided in the classroom is high-quality for learning. The roll-out of air conditioning may take longer but it is a much more sustainable approach. We also want our students using green spaces in the school. Schools that have installed large amounts of air-conditioning can have little green space usage. When we surveyed parents in 2018 the use of green space was important and we will continue to green the school in the next few years.
We are trying to find the balance of healthy learning whilst also catering for extreme heat days. We would hate for our College to be totally dependent on air-conditioning. There will be a policy on when air-conditioning is used in the school to ensure sustainable practices as we continue to increase the number of air conditioned classrooms.
Although not every classroom is air conditioned, our Leadership Team have refined a "Hot Weather Procedure" to ensure every student will be exposed to some air conditioning during extremely hot days. Large shaded areas with large fans such as Giramee are opened with supervision during lunch with our ovals closed. We are also anticipating the introduction of more outdoor learning spaces which will provide comfort and a unique learning experience for students.