HUNTER MP Joel Fitzgibbon took one look at the new theatre room at Charlton Christian College on Friday and asked his young hosts if he could watch the State of Origin there.
It was the start of some fun banter the federal member enjoyed with students Olivia Hawgood, Josh Newsome, and Tahlei Doel at the official opening and tour of two buildings valued at $7.7 million at the Fassifern-based school.
The year 4 students led Mr Fitzgibbon on a walk-through of the $2.14 million Life Centre (library) and $5.6 million administration building.
And far from being over-awed by the job, the confident nine- and 10-year-olds kept Mr Fitzgibbon informed and entertained.
The Life Centre was opened for student use in March, and is a learning hub for students from K-12. The two-level building houses the library, computer lab, drama room, group seminar rooms, individual study spaces, and theatrette.
“The Life Centre is a great facility for our students to learn, access information, collaborate, network and innovate,” principal Mark Ash said.
The administration building opened in 2015 and provides space for all of the school’s staff. It includes the business office, student reception, enrolments office, board room and open work spaces.
The federal government provided $1.2 million for the new facilities.
“We have been greatly blessed and received various Australian government grants over the past seven years totalling more than $10 million,” Mr Ash said.
That funding had helped with the creation of the school’s oval, multipurpose centre including the music and hospitality rooms and COLA, the science block, perimeter fencing and car park.
Mr Fitzgibbon said it was his first visit to the school, and he was impressed.
“It was an honor to be part of the official opening at Charlton Christian College. While the buildings are critically important, Charlton Christian College's real strength is the quality of its school community,” he said.
“They are a pleasure to work with and I congratulate them for the high standard of education they deliver to their students.”