MARKOS Hondrouakis cannot wait to start at the Sunshine Coast’s newest school.
Every weekend he drags his family to the site of Good Samaritan Catholic College at Bli Bli to see how construction is progressing.
So, there was no way the Year 6 state school student was going to miss the official blessing of the soil by North Coast dean Fr Kevin Smith.
The foundation student joined guests including Brisbane Catholic Education executive director Pam Betts and Good Samaritan Sister Veronica McCluskie for the blessing and symbolic sod-turning ceremony.
Markos said it was exciting to watch the college grow out of the ground right in front of him.
“I get excited to see the new structures growing out of the ground and take shape into classrooms and other school buildings,” he said.
“It’s really starting to come together.”
Markos said he could not wait for his first day walking through the front gates in his new school uniform.
“I’m looking forward to that exciting feeling you get when you meet new friends and new teachers for the first time,” he said.
His mother Elisha said she was delighted when she heard the news there was going to be a new Catholic school in Bli Bli.
She said it was Markos who picked Good Samaritan Catholic College himself.
“We asked him what high school he wanted to go to and he went off and researched schools and he came back all excited, shouting ‘Mum, Dad, I’ve found a new Catholic school getting built, I want to go there’,” she said.
“He did it all himself.”
Elisha, who was born in Cooroy, said the new college would make a big difference for families looking for a Catholic education for their children.
“I’ve watched Bli Bli grow from a small, farming-based area to a new community that’s huge where Good Samaritan will become a community hub for locals,” she said.
“We’re also looking forward to watching Markos grow alongside the school, helping mould the school and helping build the reputation of the school not only here in Bli Bli but across the south-east region.”
Following an acknowledgement of country from Gubbi Gubbi representative Jackie Davis, Fr Smith spoke about how the light of Christ had inspired the master-planned Prep-to-Year-12 college being built on 11.5ha in Parklakes 2, located off Thomas Road and Yandina-Bli Bli Road.
“May this light inspire the leadership of this vital endeavour of the Church to welcome students and families and see the many blessings of God as the college takes shape over time,” he said.
He thanked the Good Samaritan Sisters for lending their name to the new college.
Sr McCluskie said it was a wonderful experience to be part of the new school.
“Our sisters have been in Nambour for many, many years so we feel very much a part of this place,” she said.
“So, it’s an honour for the Catholic community here to say we want to continue that heritage, that legacy that was passed on by so many of our sisters years ago, and it’s wonderful to know that we are still part of it.
“The name ‘Good Samaritan’ indicates what kind of school it’s going to be, a school aware of the needs of all people.”
Foundation principal Greg Myers said he was excited about the future and looked forward to the challenges that lay ahead.
“We’ll be a place where young people can experience God in their lives and express their identity through their relationships with others and be encouraged to participate in all the college has to offer,” he said.
“They will learn to grow in excellent facilities with dedicated staff and a supportive community.”
Mr Myers, who is based in the school’s enrolment office on David Low Way in Marcoola while construction is underway, said Good Samaritan Catholic College would be a place where the motto “Journey with Compassion” was put into action every day.
Eventually catering to more than 1500 students from Bli Bli, Coolum Beach, Marcoola, Mudjimba, Maroochydore, Kuluin, Diddillibah, Rosemount, Eumundi, and the eastern fringe of Nambour, the college will open next year with Prep to Year 3 and Year 7 students.
The first Year 7 students will graduate from Year 12 in 2024 and the first original Prep students in 2031.
All building stages feature flexible, inter-connected spaces for either small or large groups, or one-on-one learning, plus large, modern sporting facilities.
It was recently announced the college would open with a kindergarten on site.