St John's celebrates new learning centre

From left: DOSCEL Board Director - the Hon. Martin Dixon,  Principal Mr Chris Dortmans, Parish Priest Fr Avinash George, DOSCEL Director of Catholic Education - Mr Paul Velten and School Captains Isla and Hugh. 

JUNE 2024

St John the Baptist Primary School celebrates the opening of new learning and Discovery Centre

Staff and students at St John the Baptist Primary School in Koo Wee Rup celebrated the Blessing and official opening of their new $3.3 Million Learning and Discovery Centre which has been transformative for the school.

Fr Avinash George -  Parish Priest officially Blessed and opened the new facilities. He was joined by the Hon. Martin Dixon - Board Director of Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited (DOSCEL), Mr Paul Velten - Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Sale, Mr Chris Dortmans - Principal, along with staff, students, invited guests, and friends of the school and parish community. 

Principal, Mr Dortmans said the project involved removal of the previous small library and four older classrooms to construct a purpose-built contemporary light-filled learning centre.


“The building comprises four new general learning and break out areas, a Discovery Centre incorporating a new library, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) area, student amenities, and outdoor learning areas. The school’s front entry was also refurbished, a new unform shop added, outdoor shelter and landscaping works. This project has created wonderful spaces for staff and students to thrive.”


Mr Dortmans said while the project was completed in 2022, the official Blessing and opening ceremony for the project was delayed due to COVID.

“It is wonderful to now come together as a school and parish community to formally celebrate these learning spaces and thank all those who supported the project.”

Mr Paul Velten, Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Sale, commended the efforts of the project team, school and parish community.

“These new school facilities represent Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited’s (DOSCEL) ongoing commitment to providing high quality learning and teaching environments and investment in school communities.”

By creating modern, engaging learning areas and updating the facilities for students and staff, our Catholic schools are promoting excellence in learning where students can grow and thrive in a faith-filled learning environment.”

The building project at a total cost of $3.31 million was supported by a $2.64 million funding grant from the Australian Government Capital Grants Program, a $570,000 loan from the Catholic Development Fund (CDF), and the school community.


A congratulatory message from Hon. Jason Clare MP, Federal Minister for Education, was read to the community.


Mr Velten thanked the Australian Government, and the Catholic Development Fund (CDF) for their support of the project.


About St John the Baptist Primary School, Koo Wee Rup

St John the Baptist Primary School has a proud history of providing quality Catholic education for students in Koo Wee Rup and surrounding districts for 88 years. The school is part of the Parish of St John the Baptist Koo Wee Rup in partnership with the neighbouring Iona/Maryknoll Parish. The school upholds the teachings of Jesus Christ and aims to provide students with values that enrich their lives. Students and families of all backgrounds and faiths are welcome at St John the Baptist Primary School.


Media Inquiries:

DOSCEL Media and Communications team 0417 534 232

Photo above: Student leaders enjoy the Tree House in the new Library in the Discovery Centre. Pictured from left: Sebastian, Jessica, Hugh, Isla, Ava & Tianna

Photo above: Fr Avinash George blessing new learning and discovery center.