By Kim Eberhard, Archivist
In 2015 and 2016 our campus was literally a construction zone: For the first time since the Performing Arts Centre was finished in the early 2000s, a significant building program is underway on the senior campus, which will result in new facilities for our students. They, like generations of Waverley College students before them, are the beneficiaries of the generosity of the extended College community.
As early as 1929, sporting and science facilities were constructed thanks to a donation from one family with a long connection to the school. The building, called Ludlow Hall, was the first new construction following the completion of the Conlon building some 10 years earlier.
In early 1950, the OBU resolved to lead a fundraising campaign to build a Chapel and Hall to honour the Waverley College men who served and died during WWI and WWII. A six-year effort including two fetes (one held in torrential rain), annual gala dinners, the proceeds from several Annual Balls, and an Art Union raffle (the prize being a car), culminated in the opening of the Chapel in October 1956.
By the 1960s, it was increasingly clear that even more facilities were required, especially in response to the NSW government’s implementation of the Wyndham scheme, which saw senior courses increasing from 5 to 6 years, and the introduction of a much broader curriculum. New tools for learning, such as audio-visual equipment, radio broadcasts and recorded television programs, meant that new learning spaces were essential. In order to maintain the work/play balance which has been a hallmark of Waverley College since 1903, a swimming pool was included as part of the overall 1960s goals.
Once again the Waverley College family dug deep, raising most of the funds required to complete the building program. While a government grant was made available to all schools to upgrade their facilities to comply with Wyndham requirements, this was not sufficient to meet all of Waverley College’s needs and dreams. The Administration building was opened in October 1963, and the Kenny Building and pool during 1970. The last two were built over the course of one year.
Next time you wander around the college, spare a thought for the effort and commitment shown by earlier members of the college community to provide those facilities. What will this generation’s legacy be?