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In 1981, MSC authorities agreed with the move for a return to one campus and Fr Prentice began to provide the facilities that would be needed at Riversdale. 

He sought approval to enlarge the school chapel on the ground floor of Kerrins Wing; however, there was an alternative suggestion to build a new, free standing chapel and, on 31st May 1985, Bishop Murray consecrated the new Centenary Chapel (now known as Prentice Chapel), in the presence of a large group of past and present staff and student families.

1985 Yearbook cover - Centenary Chapel (now known as Prentice Chapel)

Centenary Chapel – from the cover of the 1985 Yearbook (now known as Prentice Chapel)

McGrath Hall - 1980

McGrath Hall – 1980

Changes were made to McGrath Hall to improve facilities for physical education; the home science room was renovated, the boarding houses were refurbished, work was done on the gatehouse, and roads and fences and parking facilities were all improved. Chevalier needed a vigorous building plan to allow for the return of all students to Riversdale, but also because of the growth in student numbers.

In 1984, 947 students filled the Riversdale campus. The number of non-Catholic students exceeded 40%.  With an enlarged student population it was possible to offer more courses. A departmental inspection in 1984 warmly praised the school’s academic program.

Some Highlights:

  • 1980  McGrath Hall opened in September.
  • 1980  Hy Vong community for Vietnamese refugee boys established.
  • 1981  Peter Hartcher was national winner of the Plain English Speaking competition and won a trip to England, where he won the international final.
  • 1983  New manual arts and art blocks opened; two extra classrooms added to McMahon Centre; library extended.
  • 1984  Elm Court junior school transferred to Riversdale – Chevalier one campus.
  • 1985  The new Centenary Chapel consecrated (now known as the Prentice Chapel).
  • 1985  Boarding reorganised into four houses, Kerrins, Shields, Bosco and Carroll.
  • 1987  Father Bolt established a new Chevalier College Board.
  • 1987  The first school counsellor appointed.
  • 1987  The Peer Support Program began.
  • 1988  The Music Centre was built.
  • 1989  Father Terry Herbert appointed as the first official College Chaplain.
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