The history of the Sacred Heart School is entwined with that of the Booval Parish, and the Sisters of Mercy. It was through the dreams and hard work of the first Parish Priest, Father W. O’Sullivan, and the Sisters of Mercy, as well as the people of Booval, that the plans for the first school were drawn up, and the foundation stone for the school building was laid by Archbishop Duhig on November 23, 1930.
On January 25, 1931, the new school was blessed and opened by Archbishop Duhig, and, a week later, on Monday, February 2, the doors were opened to welcome the first enrolment of 83 students. By the end of the month the enrolment had risen to 103, and continued to increase to 156 by the end of 1931. That original school is now the Senior School adjacent to the previously-owned Convent building.
During the following years, more classrooms were required, and this need was met by excavating and enclosing the under-section of the original school. At the beginning of the war, past and present pupils numbered 425. On June 29, 1958, 400 people attended the laying of the foundation stone of the new Primary school – the present Junior School, which is adjacent to the Sacred Heart Church. The new school was opened on February 8, 1959, by Archbishop Duhig.
Since then, five extensions have been made to the original building. By 1962, it was found necessary to extend this school further. Because the number of students of high school age was taxing the resources of the local State High School, to help cope with the demand, the then Parish Priest, Father G. T. Fitzgerald, decided to establish a Girls’ High School.
In 1964, the first 44 girls commenced their Secondary Education at Booval, and for 12 years, the school provided education for the girls of this area in a new low-set brick school, which has been erected adjacent to the original primary school.
In 1976, a new Diocesan Regional High School, St. Peter Claver College, opened at Riverview, and the Booval Girls’ School was then used to cater for primary school requirements only.
By 1978, five extensions had been added to the new school complex, as well as the Dental Clinic. Our fully equipped library, tuckshop, shelter shed and covered areas were all built because of the hard work and time donated by parents and friends of the school community. In 2000 the school applied for a government grant, which resulted in the refurbishment of the 1930 building and a new administration area. Our new Pre-School opened with 29 children in 2001 and an undercover area was erected on the Senior Side in September 2001. A grant from the Gaming Commission enabled us to provide new playground equipment for our Junior school in 2003.
In 2000, the school applied for a government grant, which resulted in the refurbishment of the 1930 building and a new administration area. Our new Preschool opened with 29 children in 2001 and an undercover area was erected on the Senior side in September 2001. A second preschool unit was opened in 2006. These units became our Prep classrooms in 2007. A grant from the Gaming Commission enabled us to provide new playground equipment for our Junior School in 2003. In 2005 a gaming grant provided extra shade areas outside the Preschool rooms; the Junior walk way was refurbished opening up the entry to the School and providing better wet weather protection.
In 2006, we saw the school fully air-conditioned and paid off by the hard working P&F. This has provided students and staff with the best possible learning and working conditions.
From 1997, a concerted effort has been made into installing and maintaining an appropriate Information Technology area. During the 2006 school year, we saw a Senior Computer Lab installed on the Senior side of the school. Our computer facilities are continually being upgraded to maintain a high standard of service for our School.
2007 to 2008 saw a significant increase in school enrolments and the planning and building of new classrooms. Eight new classrooms were opened for use in 2009.
In 2009 the library, Senior Computer Lab and Year 5 Block underwent major refurbishment.
Thanks to the Federal Government "Building Education Revolution" Scheme, in 2012 our School completed a new Multipurpose Centre which has been utilised for the School Tuckshop. Music classes and performances, Drama classes and performances, HPE classes and other school activities such as Assemblies and Liturgies are held here. It is also hired out to community groups and used for Parish events.
When deciding on the name of the Centre, the School and Parish community were canvassed and it was decided to stay in the theme of the School and utilise its motto; "To Love is to Serve" (Amare est Servire), and label the building the Amare Centre. The Amare Centre was officially opened by the Most Rev Bishop Joseph Oudeman on November 1, 2013.
In June 2017 demolition of the library and Year 1 classrooms began to make room for new contemporary spaces. The school community demonstrated great flexibility in accommodating the building process. Students moved into their news space towards mid 2018 and on 2nd August 2019 the new classroom block and library/learning support building was blessed by Bishop Ken Howell and opened by Jennifer Howard MP Ipswich. These contemporary learning centres are actively used every day and the wonderful tree of knowledge is an engaging feature as evidenced by CEO of BCE Miss Pam Betts. Also present at the Opening and Blessing were two of our past Mercy Sister Principals who are photographed standing in front of the original school doors which are now carefully installed in the teachers learning space in the library.
© Brisbane Catholic Education, Sacred Heart Parish School (2016)