On Friday 23 August the Deputy Premier and Minister for Education the Hon James Merlino MP launched Mount Lilydale Mercy College’s latest capital project the Mercy Learning Centre — a single community gathering space for our senior students.  This striking new building is the latest development in the College’s masterplan delivering modern, open, light-filled spaces that reflect learning opportunities of the 21st century.

Designed by Cirillo Architects, working in association with Architecture Etcetera Pty Ltd, the College obtained a $2 million capital grant from the State Government in October 2018 towards the project which was completed in June this year.

In his address to the students and the stakeholders gathered, Mr Merlino stressed the importance of good facilities as they “make it easier for us to teach and to learn”. He explained the average 15 year old in 2019 will have 17 different jobs and five different careers and that schools today need to be providing students with the “critical thinking, creativity and collaborative skills to prepare them for the world of work”.  As a past MLMC student himself (Class of 1990), Mr Merlino said that the College had “prepared (him) well for the world beyond the school gate” and he was “proud to have played a part today, in the next phase of this wonderful school”.

Founded in 1896, the College has sat on top of Rourke’s Hill for nearly 125 years — it is highly visible from the surrounding area and has a strong visual presence in the local community. In addressing the building’s unique location, architect Anthony Worm explained “The design for the new masterplan was influenced by a study of medieval town planning in Europe. Responding to the constraints of the site, the new Mercy Learning Centre is a long narrow building that takes advantage of the views, while controlling access to daylight, services and changes in level down the steep hillside”.

The Mercy Learning Centre brings together the library, lounges and seminar areas in a single community gathering place for our senior students (Years 10, 11 and 12). It supports the sharing of student ideas outside the classroom, complementing the shift toward collaborative media and team efforts. The core strength of this approach is in the relationships it supports, including student-to-student, student-to-staff, student-to-faculty, student-to-equipment and student-to-information.

Mount Lilydale Mercy College’s Principal Mr Philip Morison said “We are pleased to be able to launch this exciting project today which brings innumerable benefits for our students, providing the spatial and technological solutions to accommodate students’ needs now and into the future”.

At the launch, the Mercy Learning Centre was blessed by Rev Mgr Anthony J Ireland and the Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony was conducted by Kellie Hunter, a Wurundjeri descendant.