James Sheahan Catholic High School opens performing arts centre | Photos

STUDENT searches for ideal venues to practise and perform are now a thing of the past after the official opening of the James Sheahan Performing Arts Centre.

James Sheahan Catholic High School’s $4.3 million centre for music, dance and drama activities was opened on Wednesday, which features three classrooms, five rehearsal rooms and a 200-seat amphitheatre.

Year 12 student Maddyson Cain said it meant she could perform her HSC flute piece at school.

“Before we had to try [to book] the Orange conservatorium or a church,” she said.

Teacher Froukje Werlemann said the students were lucky to receive the facility.

“We didn’t have the practice room and we had five to 10 kids practising in one room,” she said.

“Now we have the opportunity to do more group work.”

The project was completed with the help of $1.36 million from the NSW government’s building grants assistance scheme, about $1 million came from the school community and the Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst added $2 million.

Parliamentary secretary for Western NSW Rick Colless congratulated the school.

“I understand you had to battle more than 100 days of rain during the year and a half it took to build the centre,” he said.

“That makes the fact we’re standing here today an even greater achievement for the school community.”

Diocese consultant Vince Connor worked with the priest the school was named after.

“I don’t remember him being a great singer or dancer or actor, but Monsieur Sheahan wanted to make sure there were mechanisms for excellence to develop,” he said.

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