SJFC​ Officially Unveils Stage One of its Decade Long Master Plan

​​After more than 40 years in the community, St John Fisher College is undergoing some impressive major redevelopment, with the completion of its new ‘Mercedes building’ concluding the first stage of a decade long masterplan.DJI_0677 (2).jpg

College Principal, Catherine Galvin, welcomed the new addition at an official opening attended by Deputy Executive Director, Brisbane Catholic Education, Doug Ashleigh, on Friday, as well as Father Gerry, Parish Priest of St Joseph and Anthony’s Parish, Bracken Ridge, who performed a blessing of the new building.

“The demolition of the preexisting building, known then as the Bridgeman block, commenced in April 2021, to make way for the Mercedes (Latin for ‘mercies’) building, a new Hospitality and Design precinct, including commercial kitchens and food tech spaces, a purpose-built design centre and a new and improved college café,” Ms. Galvin said.

“Staff and students are already benefiting from the redevelopment, having grown produce in the recently installed raised garden beds, which are being used as fresh ingredients in our brand-new industrial kitchens – it really is our own micro version of paddock to plate!

“The new Design hub provides students with state-of-the-art technology at their fingertips, and includes 3D printers, a laser cutter and engraver, as well as sewing machines, prototyping materials to test new designs and lightboards to share and communicate ideas – all set in a very flexible learning space which flows from indoors to outdoors.”

Principal Galvin said, the recently built facility also includes a café named Maggie’s, which is fully operational and named after the magnolia bush, a strong symbol of resilience for the Mercy Sisters in Brisbane.

“Sr Ellen Whitty, Queensland's first Mercy nun, was writing a letter back home to Ireland when she saw a goat eating a magnolia bush - she reflected that if the magnolia bush survived, so too would the sisters,” Ms. Galvin said.

“As a testament to this enduring faith, all proceeds from the Café goes toward supporting Mercy Works, and since opening for business, Maggie's has already raised more than $1000 for various charities.”

STJOHNFISHEROPENINGMERCEDESBUILDING2022(6of24).jpgBuilt by Rohrig Constructions and designed by Phillips Smith Conwell (PSC) architects, Mercedes also features a striking mural on one side. Joel Fergie, aka The Zookeeper, captured the magnolia flower and a student looking toward a bright future, with contributions from the St John Fisher College’s very own Cultural Liaison Officer and First Nations Artist, Jessica Tedim, whose work acknowledges the connection and history of the land on which the college stands.

Father Gerry blessed the building prior to the official opening, with community figures, including local Councilor Sandy Landers, as well as principals and staff from surrounding schools, attending the ceremony.

Deputy Executive director, Brisbane Catholic Education, Dr Doug Ashleigh was also in attendance and said the building was a testament to the community spirit of St John Fisher College.

“This outstanding development will surely set this school apart for the next 40 years and serve its communitySTJOHNFISHEROPENINGMERCEDESBUILDING2022(3of24).jpg well,” Mr Ashleigh said.

“The new hospitality unit will be a space of endless educational opportunities and a place which allows students to develop real world skills and inspire in them a love of cooking.

“I’d like to acknowledge the commitment of Principal Catherine Galvin, her leadership team, and hard-working staff who have shown great patience during the construction of these areas, as well as the Archdiocesan Development Fund for their support of this project and of the St John Fisher College school community.”

The next stage of St John Fisher Colleges Master Plan is expected to commence in mid-2023 with the construction of a new administration and wellbeing building.

For more information about St John Fisher College, visit their website, and to view the mural being painted, click here​.

© Brisbane Catholic Education​, St John Fisher College Bracken Ridge (2022)