15 February 2023

Scotch College Opens Purruna Spencer Newton Centre

Original article via The Advertiser

Operated by the YMCA, the new Purruna Spencer Newton Centre at Scotch College will officially open on Thursday evening to Scotch students and the local community, who can access the facility outside the school’s operating hours.

The sports and wellbeing centre includes access to a 25m swimming pool, indoor basketball and volleyball courts and a high-performance gym for students to train in. The Purruna Centre also offers mental health and wellbeing support for college students, with flexible classroom facilities, collaborative workspaces and exercise rooms for meditation, yoga and dance.

On-site allied health professionals such as nutritionists, occupational therapists and life coaching specialists will also be readily available to students and the wider community.

Scotch College principal Trent Driver said the centre hoped to help students with their mental health and wellbeing, particularly after a challenging couple of years with the Covid pandemic.

“We want to equip (students) to manage the challenges of change and provide them with the intellectual, mental and physical resources to create opportunities and be globally responsible,” Mr Driver said.

“A facility like this gives students an opportunity to engage, particularly in physical activity, and teach them how to balance (school and extra-curricular activities) with other parts of their life.”

Scotch College Year 12 students Ella Ifould and Louis Merrigan praised the school for “prioritising students’ wellbeing”.

“The connection this building encourages is immense, whether that’s from junior school through to senior schools, or other schools and Scotch parents,” Mr Merrigan said.

“I’m looking forward to the fitness spaces, whether it’s the high performance gym, the pool or the dance room, being exposed to those spaces during my training will be really beneficial.”

“I think wellbeing is such a fundamental part of our education,” Ms Ifould said.

“Having that area where you can go to relax, recharge and rethink before (class), helps you bring the best mindset and your best thinking to the next lesson and the rest of the day.”
Mr Driver said the $27m development was also focused on sustainability, with solar power and water capture design features.

The building incorporates internal and external vegetation to complement the college’s farm for agricultural lessons, giving students hands-on opportunities to learn about food, nutrition and global produce demands.