See the latest plans and designs here
The Epping Development: Update May 8th 2021
Since Fr Peter’s last update to the parish about the Epping
redevelopment project in August last year significant work has been undertaken
on finalising the detailed design for our new parish assets and the primary
school. In August and September, consultation
took place with a group of parishioners and parish personnel in providing
feedback on these designs – that feedback was incorporated into the finalised
Last year Fr Peter advised you
that to minimise disruption, particularly to the OLHC school community, the
commencement of construction would be early 2022. In addition, it was at this time it was also
determined that in finalising the specific detail for
both the parish assets and the new school learning environment, it was clear that
the construction period would also need to be slightly longer (by an additional
six months) than the 18 months originally anticipated. We are now looking at a more realistic and
definitive timeframe of commencement of construction 2022 and completion at the
end of 2023 to give us all greater certainty for the start of the 2024 school
In August I will be inviting you
to a parish forum so that I, Diocesan Financial Administrator Emma McDonald and
our Parish Project Manager Sam Franklin of Root Partnerships can present to you
an update on the design and the building processes. I will be seeking your
collaboration, as Fr Peter did, on some remaining design elements and the
processes of relocating our existing offices, meeting rooms, presbytery and
hall. In the meantime, I provide some
further details in the following update.
– Fr Jim McKeon
In recent months and weeks Fr Jim McKeon has been briefed
and immersed in the OLHC, Epping development project by Fr Peter Dowd, Emma
McDonald, Diocesan Financial Administrator and Parish Project Manager, Sam
Franklin of Root Partnerships.
It is most important that Fr Jim is well positioned in
‘taking over the reins’ of this project at this critical juncture where we are
soon to enter into the preparation of the construction phase.
Completing detailed design work
With Fr Jim appointed as Parish Priest in January of this
year, it was agreed from the outset with Bishop Anthony that a well-planned and
smooth handover of the project from Fr Peter to Fr Jim would be essential. With that in mind, the timing for handover of
the project was established whereby Fr Peter would conclude the work of the 100%
detailed design – a major milestone - culminating in years of consultation and
working closely with Stockland, architects and parish expert advisors. This work, which was originally anticipated to
be finalised by April, will be finalised in May.
Since Fr Peter’s latest update last
year, significant work has been undertaken on finalising the detailed design
and development planning for the new School and parish assets (including
Parish offices, Parish hall, Parish OHSC facility and underground carparking). In August and September, consultation took
place with a group of parishioners and parish personnel in providing feedback
on these designs – that feedback was incorporated into the finalised designs.
A remaining design aspect to be finalised is signage and how
OLHC will ultimately present to the community – this work will provide the opportunity
for Fr Jim to invite parishioners to participate in this workshop and he will inform
you of the timing very soon once this timing is better understood.
Next project phase –
The next phase of the Project is embarking on the work to be
undertaken in appointing the builder, which will commence in July, via a tender
process with the appointment planned to occur in November, and early construction
works and relocation preparation (for December). It is here and now at this next new phase of
the project that Fr Jim takes full carriage of the project and will lead the
Parish through the rest of the journey in conjunction with the Principal of
OLHC, Epping Primary School, Dominque O’Sullivan.
Project timing recap and update
Fr Peter last advised, that for
several reasons, including the challenges of COVID and a lengthy DA approval
process, the timing of the project had to be reconsidered which resulted in pushing
back the commencement of construction until early 2022. Fr Peter let you know then that given all
that was happening, this delayed commencement was a better way to proceed
especially when it came to the impact felt by families in our schools.
It was also determined and conveyed that all the new Parish
assets (including Parish offices, Parish hall, Parish OHSC
facility and underground carparking) would be developed and completed at
the same time of the new school building – to minimise disruption all round. And as a result of completing both school and
all other parish assets at the same time, it was
determined the construction period would need to be slightly longer than the 18
months originally anticipated – by an additional six months.
The OLHC primary school at Epping
will be co-located with St Agatha’s Primary School at Pennant Hills for the
full school years of 2022 and 2023, before returning at the beginning and
commencement of Term 1 of 2024. In
early April, the Director of Schools, Danny Casey wrote to parents of both
school communities of OLHC, Epping and St Agatha’s, Pennant Hills in relation
to the school relocation timing and logistics in preparation for the transition to St Agatha’s, Pennant Hills from the
beginning of 2022. Families of both
those school communities will continue to be kept apprised of those logistics
by the Director of Schools.
With respect to relocation
logistics for the Parish, focus now turns to the planning of the relocation of
the Parish office and presbytery and these discussions have commenced.
During 2020 and the impact of Covid-19, no parish public
forums were possible. With the ability
to more safely gather this year, and as the vaccination program is rolled out, it
is anticipated that the next Parish forum will be held in August – providing an
update on the tender process of appointing the Builder and to detail the timing
and construction process as the next phase of the project.
In the meantime, design boards will be made available and
located at the Church, Parish Office and at the school and the development
website will continue to be regularly updated, with the next update due to be
published around mid-May. The OLHC
Development website address is http://olhc-develop.com.au.
Provided by Emma McDonald, Diocesan Financial
Administrator on behalf of Fr Jim McKeon, Parish Priest
18th August 2020
Dear parishioners, parents and friends,
I hope you are all keeping well and maintaining a sense of ‘balance’ during these extraordinary times.
I have wanted to provide an update on the progress of our parish development project at OLHC Epping for some time and am now pleased to be able to share with you the detail in respect to these matters. My apologies that this has taken longer than expected however rest assured that significant work and planning has continued in partnership with our developer Stockland. Due to the COVID situation, the logistical planning of the project has been hampered (in addition to the lengthy DA approval delay) requiring us to reconsider the timing of the project.
As many of you would be aware, the Development Application was only finally determined by the State Planning Panel on 11th May this year. I would like to once again pay tribute to ALL those involved in enabling us to reach such a positive outcome!
In light of the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Stockland and the parish have reached an agreement to push back the commencement of construction until early 2022. Given all that is happening, we feel this is the better way to proceed especially when it comes to the impact being felt by families in our schools.
This decision means OLHC primary school at Epping will remain on-site at our current location for all of 2021, rather than transition to St Agatha’s at the end of this year or at the end of term 1 2021.
As a result of this change, the new Parish Hall, underground carparking, parish offices as well as the new school building will also now be completed at the same time – so less disruption all round.
In partnership with Stockland and our architects, we will continue to work together in coming months through the next steps of the development process including refining the detailed design and operational requirements of all
parties. As the opportunity arises, we will seek to share in more detail the designs of what is being proposed and
welcome any feedback you may wish to offer. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we are unable to provide information by gathering everyone physically for another parish and community consultation however other options may be
possible and we will inform you once they become available. In lieu of being able to meet physically, we will also ensure regular updates are provided through our dedicated website.
Should you have any questions or comments please feel free to direct them to myself or our school principal Dominique O’Sullivan
May God continue to bless this opportunity to continue to equip the mission of the Gospel in this part of God’s vineyard!