Canberra Grammar School to build New Auditorium, Music Department, and Centre for Learning

To all in the School community,

As we celebrate Canberra Grammar School’s 90th Anniversary and following the release of our 2017 Campus Development Plan, it is our great pleasure to announce the next major stage in our School’s evolution. 

In the coming months, the School will begin construction of a new auditorium, music department, and centre for reading, research and learning at the very heart of our campus. The project is a powerful expression of our School’s holistic tradition, and it underpins our core aspiration to educate students who are curious, creative, confident and compassionate young citizens of the world.

Made possible by an extraordinary gift of $20 million from Mr Terry Snow AM, almost certainly the largest personal endowment to a school in Australian history, this superb new complex will transform the face and the future of our School.

It will place mature, independent and guided study, along with the artistic, spiritual and intellectual endeavour of music, right at the forefront of our educational experience.

Click the image above to view
the information booklet.

Mr Snow’s gift also comes with a profound and substantial commitment to the School’s new Indigenous education and scholarship programmes, reflecting our aspiration, as a school for Australia’s capital, to educate a generation of young Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders who will create a future of justice and opportunity together.  This significant endowment will be the catalyst to a major philanthropic initiative for Indigenous and equity scholarships in the years ahead.  We look forward in excitement to sharing more in this regard in due course.

In the meantime, Mr Snow’s generosity advances the School over a decade of development, enabling the School to progress multiple projects in the Primary and Senior Schools more swiftly than would otherwise have been possible, benefiting thousands of students both currently at the School and for generations to come. For this, we are truly grateful.

Architecturally designed to honour the existing Breezeway building and forecourt to the Quadrangle, the new complex will replace the ailing 1960s frontage of the School and will include a modern conception of a library, a formal entry way, an internal gathering space, and a superb assembly and concert hall on the site originally envisaged by the School’s earliest plans for its most important meeting place.

The complex will look both inward to the heritage elegance of the Quadrangle and outward over the spectacular vista of the Main Oval.

Importantly, the facility will significantly enhance the thriving programme of CGS Music, giving the School a proper concert venue for the first time, along with new state of the art classrooms, rehearsal rooms, instrumental tuition studios and recording facilities to accommodate the hundreds of curricular and co-curricular classes that currently take place each week, along with dozens of ensembles, bands, orchestras and choirs.

In addition to the auditorium, the new CGS Centre for Music will double the space available to the Senior School Music Department and it will significantly augment the facilities for music in the Primary School.  It will also provide opportunities out of school hours and in school holidays for external musical groups and youth music programmes, and it will give the Canberra community an outstanding educational facility, professional learning venue and medium-sized concert hall.

Construction will take place throughout 2020 ahead of opening in mid-2021, with care taken throughout to minimise impact on the operations of the School and surrounding neighbourhoods.  More detail will follow in due course.  

In the meantime, we hope that you will share our excitement at this truly historic moment for our School.  As we celebrate our 90th anniversary, we are proud of the heritage that has brought us to this, but we also look ahead with high aspirations to the future. 

For more information, please take time to read this linked information booklet or to watch this video, and we warmly invite you to join us for an information session in on Thursday 31 October at 5:30pm on the Senior School campus

With our gratitude, as ever, for your support,

Stephen Byron
Chair of the Board

Justin Garrick
Head of School