The oldest building at Assumption College Kilmore has become its newest learning space.
From a building that still features bluestone from the 19th century, Assumption College Kilmore’s newest learning space, the Fourvière Centre, has been born and was officially opened on Sunday, April 17.
Staff, past and present students, parents, Marist Brothers, Paul Herrick from Marist Schools Australia, Nationals MP for Euroa Steph Ryan and those who contributed to the project gathered for the opening of the centre, home of the new library, hub for teaching English and boarders’ study area.
Until 2014, this building was the boarders’ home away from home, and, being heritage listed, its exterior has hardly been touched, except for the grand new entrance and prominent wide arches that have been glassed in. The interior has been totally transformed.
Speaking before the opening and blessing by alumnus Bishop Peter Connors, principal Kate Fogarty gave a brief history of the building, noting that one part dates back to 1874.
Miss Fogarty says that many people had been involved in the refurbishment that will give students and teachers “a beautiful, light, warm and welcoming space to inspire their learning”. “The proximity to each other, and to the library, opens boundless opportunities for learning that could not be previously realised,” she says.
The centre is named Fourvière because of the significance of this hill (known as the praying hill) in the life of St Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers. In 1816, at the shrine to Our Lady in Fourvière, Lyon, St Marcellin and a group of seminarians and newly ordained priests promised to begin a religious order dedicated to Mary.
Among former students who attended the opening were some who have been named in the Hall of Excellence. Two honour boards containing such names as Fred Schepisi, Dr Jack Kennedy, Shane Crawford, Peter “Crackers” Keenan, Billy Brownless and Neale Daniher feature prominently in the new centre.