Restoration of Mercy House

Mercy House is the heritage building that stands in the centre of the College. It was built in 1884 originally as the convent for the Sisters of Mercy teaching at St Mary’s. It is an important part of our story, as well as a landmark for the City of Ipswich and State of Queensland. As custodians of the story of St Mary’s College, we must value the significance of this building and ensure that it continues to be the heart of our school and story.

It is therefore with much delight that I finally announce that the restoration of Mercy House will begin on Monday 5th March. This has been a three year project involving much consultation with local members of our community, as well as the important Educational and Heritage bodies that make up the team of consultants for this project. Mercy House will be restored to its original glory, including original paintwork and colours. Any “add-ons” that have occurred to the façade over its
149 year existence will be removed. What an exciting challenge but daunting task…

The builders appointed to complete the work are Box and Co. They have had much experience working in schools, and we look forward to the partnership which will be strengthened over the next nine months as we negotiate the challenges of such a huge task together. I thank Fulton Trotter Architects who have provided much guidance and support to the College during the planning stages, as well as their continuing role during the building project.

The fences around the work site will be erected over the weekend to clearly define the building site. Under no circumstances is any member of the College community able to enter this site. The first task in Week One and Two of the project will involve demolition. Due to the age of Mercy House, this will involve the removal of asbestos. Signs will clearly indicate when this task is occurring. I have negotiated with the builders that this be done outside of normal school hours. The builders will follow all the necessary regulations regarding the removal of asbestos but this added precaution will ensure the maintenance of a safe learning environment for all concerned, including staff and students.

Thank you to all members of our community for your support during the next nine months as we cope with a building site in the centre of our College. The rewards will be priceless…

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