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News > From the Headmaster > From the Headmaster: Big Quad redevelopment project update and old scholar engagement

From the Headmaster: Big Quad redevelopment project update and old scholar engagement

The Big Quad redevelopment project is nearing completion with the opening slated for early August 2022

Big Quad redevelopment project update

I am delighted to report that the Big Quad redevelopment project is nearing completion with the opening slated for early August 2022. This exciting redevelopment, the first major project of the School’s Master Plan, will re-establish the precinct as the heart of academia at St Peter’s College.

Recent visitors to the campus may have noticed that the colonnades around the Quad have been cleaned and are in the process of being repaired.  Retaining walls that once closed off the northern edge of the open space have been removed, allowing sightlines from Da Costa Dining Hall and the newly formed High Street, all the way across the Big Quad for the first time in decades.  The Jury Fountain has been protected and reserved with pride of place within the Quad. Over the coming months the landscaping and pathways within the Quad will be reformed.

Big School Room, Australia’s oldest continuously used classroom, has served many purposes over its lifetime. To ensure it continues to be an important part of campus life and the experience of every student, the next era of its use is being shaped to accommodate performance, debating, choir, music and group gatherings as well as flexible general learning.

The new raised roof and upper level of Big Quad South is now nearing completion.  The upper level of the old Tower now connects through to what will soon be the new Senior Study Hub; visitors to the space will enjoy views of the Chapel to the south and down into the Big Quad to the north.

The historic vaulted ceilings within the new CEO-in-Residence room are being recreated, allowing the large high-level windows to be reinstated; they bring with them wonderful amounts of natural light and impressive views.

The Big Quad redevelopment project, made possible through the generous philanthropic support of our community, will protect our shared heritage whilst meeting contemporary educational needs of current students and future generations.

Old scholar engagement

As Headmaster I enjoy the privilege of welcoming old scholars back to the School and I delight in hearing them recount their experiences of school. Last year Dr John Skipper (HWK 1938) joined me and the School Captains for morning tea to celebrate his 100th birthday and one of our oldest old scholars Dr Mark Sheppard (FLL 1936) enjoyed a tour of the School with our Prefects.

More recently I was delighted to be contacted by old scholar Richard Brown (DAC 1979) who, on reading the article about the English Test Cricket Team’s visit to St Peter’s College in 1920 in the December SPOC newsletter, recalled a most treasured cricket bat sitting idle in his spare room. The bat belonged to his late grandfather, Brian Bednall. Brian, a member of the 1st XI in 1920, played in a match on Main Oval against the touring English Team; an incredible experience for a budding cricketer.

Richard and his brother David Brown (DAC 1979) joined David Docwra, author of the original newsletter article, Andrea McKinnon-Matthews, School Archivist and me to share stories of their grandfather’s time at the School and then generously donated their grandfather’s bat, bearing the autographs of the English Team, to be displayed in our School Archives.

Tim Browning

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