ACT News


Parishioners angered by school sale

A former girls' college in Goulburn is on the market, which has angered parishioners.

A block away from the main street, the 12,500 square metre campus, which could fetch $2 million, comprises six buildings, including a chapel, convent, various educational rooms and three tennis courts.

With two large street frontages, courtyards and ornate verandah, the historic Marian college adds to a substantial pile of disused property owned by the Catholic Church and on the market in Goulburn.

Catholic Mission bought Marian college about a year ago from the Sisters of Mercy, and has upset parishioners by listing it for sale. Parishioner Brian Watchirs said when other church property became redundant the occupants handed the deeds back to the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese. ''Because that's where it came from originally, it was parish land and then it was deeded to the different ones.''

A member of the parish finance committee and property supervisor , Mr Watchirs said he would rather see the archdiocese develop it for aged accommodation, close to services.

''It's just been let go, nearly every window in the place has been broken,'' he said. ''It's just a mess. The original building was there before the cathedral [Saints Peter and Paul's Old Cathedral].''


Catholic Mission finance manager Walter Dinale said the school was acquired when the sisters withdrew their order from active operation in Goulburn. ''They offered it to us with the intention that it be used to vitalise Goulburn. We had earmarked it for another purpose, however that didn't eventuate.''

Mr Dinale said the sisters said it would be ideal for educational uses, otherwise it could be sold to support Catholic Mission in Australia and overseas.

''I've heard there may be some grumblings, I mean anyone can step up and buy it,'' Mr Dinale said.

Colliers International and Goulburn agent Peter Mylonas are calling for expressions of interest for the commercial core-zoned property which had permitted uses ranging from commercial, retail, educational, hotel/motel, medical and shop-top housing. Marian college has heritage-listed buildings and amalgamated with St Patrick's boys college in 2000 to become co-educational Trinity College.

The merger upset parents and former students, although both schools were facing falling enrolments and rising upkeep.

Big home sales are driving Sydney and Melbourne markets, and several Goulburn mansions have over recent years changed hands and been restored. But empty Catholic buildings are not among them.

Former novitiate St Michael's failed to attract a bid when auctioned last year and remains on the market for $2.3 million.

Mr Mylonas said St Joseph's House of Prayer, a substantial two-storey property, was expected to change hands soon, while the huge former St John's orphanage, which the church sold to a businessman, has been on the market for more than $3 million.

1 comment

Comment are now closed