Special items were salvaged before convent was demolished
DURING the recent school holidays the old convent on the Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School grounds was demolished.
A Catholic Education Office spokesperson said the building was used in the past to house the Sisters of Mercy and in more recent years the Marist Sisters.
"Unfortunately the building was in considerable disrepair and contained significant amounts of asbestos," they said.
"The building was deemed not fit to be re-purposed for educational use."
Significant items were salvaged and restored to be included in future redevelopments to honour and commemorate the contribution by the Sisters of Mercy.
"These items included a statue of the the Blessed Virgin Mary, the convent foundation stone and Celtic cross," the spokesperson said.
The planned redevelopment of the site will include a school community gathering area with additional playground space and provision for future learning facilities for school children.
The safety and well-being of students will be enhanced through construction of a new drop-off and pick-up zone and carpark, thereby improving traffic flow around Herbert and Goondoon Sts.
The work began with the removal of all asbestos from the building prior to the convent's demolition last Friday.
The spokesperson said all work involving asbestos removal was carried out by licensed contractors in accordance with all Workplace Health and Safety guidelines and legislative requirements.
The Star of the Sea school would like to assure all parents and community members that the school received a written clearance from an independent body that all asbestos removal has been completed and the site was safe.
The convent was built after the original building was destroyed by a cyclone in 1949.