REVEALED: St Mary's sets date for campus merger
ST MARY'S Catholic Primary School will receive $5 million in federal funding to merge its Warwick campuses, following a surprise announcement from Maranoa MP David Littleproud.
The long-awaited progression of the decades-old plan will bring both sides of the student body together, preventing travel safety risks and increasing convenience for teachers, children and their parents.
The school's development funding application beat out dozens of other projects to take "a significant portion of Maranoa's money."
Mr Littleproud said the school's circumstances warranted action.
"The growth of this school and where it is located makes it so important," he said.
"And it's great because the school thought they'd only get a portion of the money but now they're able to complete the project in one fell swoop."
The large sum shocked St Mary's Parish priest Father Franco Filipetto who said he thought, at best, they'd be granted just enough money to complete half of the project.
"We needed to do something about the two campuses and we didn't know how to do it," he said.
"Now we'll just have the one school."
The announcement came during a scheduled appearance with Mr Littleproud at the graduation mass.
The federal funding will increase the capacity at the upper campus to enable the consolidation between classrooms.
The single-storey building on Pratten St will be replaced with a new double-storey building which will contain eight classrooms, a covered play area, an eating area, amenities and a lift.
The building will be "architecturally and sensitively designed to appropriately integrate with the existing heritage buildings."
The existing primary school building and administrative buildings located on Palmerin St will be upgraded internally.
Open front verandas and an IT server room will also be installed on the administrative building.
A new on-site, 25-vehicle carpark and drop-off zone will be constructed to the north of the administrative building with two one-way crossovers on the Palmerin St frontage.
This will remove eight on-street parking spaces from Palmerin St.
"Hopefully we can get tradies going and people moving quickly so the town gets a bit of a lift out of it," Mr Littleproud said.
Construction is set to begin early next year, according to principal Emma Timmins.
"It should be completed with all the students moved over by 2022," she said.
"It's been a long process, but we're so grateful."
What will become of the lower campus remains unknown.
"I don't know what they plan for that," Father Franco said.
"With real estate in this town the way it is I'd say it'll be a while before we see something happen with it.