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The Hermitage House re-opening
Geelong Grammar School celebrated the re-opening of The Hermitage House on Saturday 1 September following a major refurbishment.
The official re-opening of the girls' boarding house was followed by a reunion dinner attended by past members of Jennings/The Hermitage stretching back to when the house was first opened (as Jennings House) in 1976.
The refurbishment followed the template provided by Elisabeth Murdoch and Francis Brown houses, creating single study/bed rooms for all Year 11 and 12 students while also satisfying the broader requirements of privacy, study, play, functionality and pastoral care.
Principal of Geelong Grammar School, Stephen Meek, said the ongoing refurbishment of the School's boarding houses reaffirmed its commitment to boarding, to the House system and to providing boarding in a boarding school, "as opposed to providing boarding in a day school with some boarders".
"Most schools in Australia which have had boarding at all are cutting back on their boarding provision or have closed it down altogether," Stephen explained.
"We have expanded the number of boarding places through the construction of Elisabeth Murdoch House and are now modernising our other boarding facilities."
He said the refurbishments set a new standard for boarding school accommodation, combining modern design features with state-of-the-art technology.
"The students of the Hermitage have always enjoyed being in their House," he said. "In the end it is the people who make the House, not the buildings."
It was a sentiment shared by The Hermitage House captain, Gretel Sharp (Yr12 He).
"I know that I can speak on behalf of all the girls in saying that we are extremely grateful that the renovations could take place in Hermi this year," Gretel said.
"Not only have the transformations improved studying amongst us all, they have enhanced the relationships between the three year levels," she said.
"We as a house feel extremely lucky to have been here to witness and experience these new privileges and developments. And while some may be concerned that the buildings new physique could destroy the core of what we all consider Hermi to be, let me assure you – a Hermi girl will always be a Hermi girl."