St.Sava College on the move

The next stage in the development of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese's St.Sava College (SSC) in south-west Sydney is about to go ahead. On Sunday the 9th of August, His Grace Bishop Irinej, together with Father Rade Radan and Deacons Sasha Colic and Branko Bosancic, served the Divine Liturgy on the foundations of St.Sava College. At the conclusion of the service, his Grace presented a cheque to the value of $1.8 million dollars to the former owner of the property Mr s Helen henry and with that payed out the loan with which the property was purchased five years ago, for a total sum of $3.6 million dollars.

The 86ha property located in Varroville will be home to a major educational and aged care project initiated by the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand. In 2007 following DA approval, the 2,400 square metre slab of Stage 1 was constructed. For the following 18 months a number of reports, needed to be completed and submitted to council in order to obtain a full construction certificate, allowing for the erection of the building and associated landscaping and delivery of infrastructure. This process took longer than expected, partly because of the environmentally sensitive nature of the area, but also due to the presence of three major infrastructure stakeholders, the Sydney Water Supply, the Jemena Gas Pipeline and the APA Ethane Pipeline. All three services run through the property and their owners had to be satisfied that our development would pose no threat to their security or safety. Several weeks ago SSC received a Construction Certificate, having met all requirements and there is sufficient money in the Building Fund to cover the costs of the next phase of building.

The $200,000 expenditure will include the erection of pillars, walls and columns, together with the structural steel which forms the roof of the structure. Money had been pledged for the project and while some donors had paid in full others were making periodical payments as agreed. Some pledges, for whatever reason, have not been fulfilled. All money donated to SSC is deposited in the SSC Building Fund. Donors receive tax deductible receipts for their donations and that money is deposited in the SSC Building Fund. All funds generated from the sale of tickets to events, merchandise etc are deposited into our administration account and used to pay all non-building disbursements associated with the project, including insurances, rates, maintenance, wages and administration expenses.

SSC is an integral organisation of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand and the Bishop is the president of the SSC Board. The Diocese has a number of such organisations including SOYA, the St. Simeon Retirement Village and the Brotherhood of Vladika Nikolai Velimirovic. Alongside SSC, the Serbian Orthodox Diocese intends to construct a retirement facility, a church and other facilities on this large tract of land.

Our aim is to complete the structural steel in the next three months and then, depending on future fund raising, to cover the roof and close the sides of the building. It is also intended to do some landscaping and fencing work, according to the approved landscape design. In an effort to reduce costs, we have been fortunate that a number of Serbian builders have offered to be in charge of various stages of construction. When we laid the foundations, licensed builder Milorad Borak was in charge of construction and the Building Committee will nominate a person who will be in charge of the next phase.

All those who contribute to the construction will be recognised for their contribution and their names will be displayed on a plaque in the building.