Arts cen­tre launch a big boost for town

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

The new St Luke’s Col­lege per­form­ing arts cen­tre has of­fi­cially opened and, with fa­cil­i­ties for arts sub­jects from drama to dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy, is ex­pected to boost ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties in the school and Kar­ratha com­mu­nity

A school assem­bly, with an ad­dress from Catholic Ed­u­ca­tion ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Tim McDon­ald, was held at St Luke’s last week to an­nounce the com­ple­tion of the $4.8 mil­lion arts cen­tre as well as a new Year 7 block.

The arts cen­tre fa­cil­i­ties in­clude a dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy lab, a cos­tume and prop room, a re­hearsal space, a green room and an online study space, all of which will be ac­ces­si­ble to the wider com­mu­nity.

There’s also a spe­cial­ist as­tron­omy cen­tre with a re­tractable roof which will house a mounted Bin­tel telescope us­ing soft­ware based on that of NASA.

St Luke’s Col­lege prin­ci­pal Alanna Ot­way said the arts cen­tre had been de­signed as a true “21st cen­tury learn­ing space”.

“It gives us such a breadth of teach­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties be­tween dance, drama, mu­sic, dig­i­tal me­dia, pho­tog­ra­phy and as­tron­omy as well, so it is very ver­sa­tile,” she said.

“I think there are many re­gional ar­eas in WA where stu­dents have got enor­mous gifts in the cre­ative arts. So we wanted to make sure that we keep our op­tions open, whether they are dig­i­tal cre­ative arts, work­ing with as­tron­omy . . . or whether it’s about tra­di­tional per­form­ing arts and vis­ual arts,to try and de­velop a whole-school ap­proach to it.”

About $150,000 of the arts cen­tre’s cost was funded by the St Luke’s Col­lege com­mu­nity, with the rest com­ing from the State Gov­ern­ment’s Roy­al­ties for Re­gions scheme de­liv­ered by the Pil­bara De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion.

PDC chief ex­ec­u­tive Terry Hill said the per­form­ing arts cen­tre would im­prove lo­cal study and ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents.

“Qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion is a core com­po­nent of de­vel­op­ing live­able cities,” he said. “Of­fer­ing di­ver­sity and choice in a state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity will en­cour­age stu­dents and their fam­i­lies to stay in the re­gion to com­plete their stud­ies.

Mrs Ot­way said the as­tron­omy cen­tre and telescope had been in­stru­men­tal to the cen­tre’s build, fol­low­ing the gift of another telescope from the Univer­sity of WA sev­eral years ago.

“The Bin­tel that we have here is ac­tu­ally an au­to­mated star-track­ing soft­ware de­vice,” she said.

“You can put in any con­stel­la­tion or star that you’re search­ing for and the soft­ware will lo­cate it and train the telescope on it.”

The open­ing co­in­cides with St Luke’s 30th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions, which were held last month.

Pic­tures: Ali­cia Perera

Pil­bara De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion chief ex­ec­u­tive Terry Hill, St Luke's Col­lege prin­ci­pal Alanna Ot­way and Pil­bara MLA Kevin Michel with the telescope in the school's new per­form­ing arts cen­tre.

Pil­bara De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion chief ex­ec­u­tive Terry Hill, Pil­bara MLA Kevin Michel, St Luke's Col­lege head girl Maddy Wil­son and head boy Glynn Shros­bree, Du­rack MHR Melissa Price and St Luke's Col­lege prin­ci­pal Alanna Ot­way at the rib­bon-cut­ting to open the new arts cen­tre.

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