St Columba’s centre of attention (NSW)

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Port Macquarie News

Impressive: John Barrett and Terry Muldoon with St Columba students Lainey Harrison, Michaela Bone, Patrick Boyle, Laura Smith, Michael Dimuantes and Harley Coleman at the official opening of the state-of-the-art Jona Centre.

The St Columba Anglican school community celebrated the opening of a multi-million dollar, multi-purpose centre yesterday.

The $2.9 million state-of-the-art Jona Centre was most recently used for the Summer Slam in which participants enjoyed the impressive amenities.

The building has two basketball courts, a performing stage, a mezzanine, green room, a lift for disabled access, weights room, electric scoreboards, custom floors, glass backboards and more.

School principal Terry Muldoon said the official opening was a long time coming.

“We had time constraints and we wanted to have the official opening at a time when everyone was available,” he said.

“It has been in use for some time and everyone has been impressed with it.

“The flooring itself was custom made in France and absorbs around 40 per cent of the impact, so it is great on the kids’ knees.”

About $100,000 was spent on acoustic insulation.

“When you get a band in here and fill it up, the acoustics are actually quite good,” Mr Muldoon said.

“We are really happy with it. It really lives up to its name of being a multi-purpose centre.”

It is not only the school that will enjoy the centre; eventually and gradually it will become available to the community.

“That was the agreement with the government, that, at our discretion, we open it up for the community to use and we already have plans to run futsal out of here and the University of Newcastle has expressed interest in using the centre as well,” Mr Muldoon said.

The 765-pupil school is progressing at a rate of knots and there are plans for more development within a year.

“We actually have a couple of things on the boil at the moment,” Mr Muldoon said.

“Within three months we are hoping we will have a senior study centre, and by November we hope to have a restaurant-style kitchen.

“It is a very exciting time for us.”

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