Bishop Paul has made an announcement this morning regarding the future of Marian College.
A new Marian College is to be built in Christchurch’s north west with the first students expected to start school in February 2023.
The college will neighbour St Joseph’s Primary School and will be on a three hectare site bordered by Vagues Road, Main North Road and Northcote Road with the main entrance off Lydia Street.
Bishop Paul said that finding a new home for Marian College had always been one of his main priorities and the purchase of the former Foodstuffs warehouse property on Northcote Road had made it possible.
There is much work to be undertaken, but between now, and when we take possession of the land in April 2021, we will proceed with all the scoping and design work ahead of construction starting,” he said.
Construction of the new school is expected to cost in excess of $20 million.
Marian College had to move from its original site on North Parade, Shirley, after the 2011 earthquakes and after sharing has been sited next to the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Barbadoes Street since 2012.
Marian College Board of Trustees Chair Jan Paterson welcomed the good news.
“As well as being exciting and positive for our school, the changes are going to further strengthen and grow our Catholic community. On behalf of Marian College, we thank the Bishop, for his counsel, and the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch for its guidance and steady support over the years,” Mrs Paterson said.
“Thank you also to our school community for your loyalty and patience and to all the schools, individuals, businesses and communities who have supported Marian since the earthquakes. It means a lot to us.”
Marian College Principal Mary-Lou Davidson said the Bishop’s decision was the news everyone was waiting to hear.
“We are all very excited,” she said. “While the heart of Marian will remain the same, we are very fortunate to be getting a brand new school.”
“History shows the heart of our school remains strong and true through change. Over the years we have encouraged each other to have faith in our future and we are ready for the challenges ahead of us,” Mrs Davidson said.
We are looking forward to having a new permanent home and closer working relationships with St Joseph’s School, Papanui, and Marian”s brother school, St Bede’s College.
“We expect this year’s Year 9 students will be seniors at a brand new school,” she said.
Marian College will develop a transport plan designed to support ongoing access for students from more than 30 feeder primary schools, including families living in East Christchurch and North Canterbury.
About Marian College:
Marian College is a Catholic state integrated school for girls with a maximum roll of 430 students, that combines high academic standards and a progressive approach to modern education.
Marian College opened in 1982, with the merging of two similar Catholic secondary schools for girls. St. Mary’s College, opened by the Sisters of Mercy in Colombo Street in 1893 and McKillop College in Shirley, administered by the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart.
These two schools merged into a larger secondary school on the McKillop College site in North Parade. The Catholic Bishop of Christchurch is the proprietor.
Following the February 22, 2011, earthquake, Marian College relocated as a result of significant land damage. Marian was subsequently hosted by brother school, St Bede’s College, for the rest of that year.
From 2012, Marian relocated to fully refurbished buildings alongside Catholic Cathedral College and the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament on Barbadoes Street, where it remains today.
As well as planning for the future, Marin College will be reflecting back and celebrating the school’s heritage. Former students and staff of Marian College, St Mary’s College and McKillop College are invited to reconnect via the schools website, Facebook page or by contacting the school office. Prospective students of Marian College are invited to pre-enrol via the school’s website. Visit www.mariancollege.school.nz for more information.