For ‘old hands’ at Newington, the site of our new Early Learning Centre is remembered as ‘Mary Andrews House’ or ‘Braeside’. These enigmatic names give just a hint of the site’s long institutional history, of which Newington’s ELC is the latest chapter. The ELC has been opened for business since the beginning of the school year and was formally opened last Tuesday,
A small hospital, Braeside Private Hospital, operated on the site since at least 1915. From 1946 it operated as the Braeside Church of England Maternity Hospital. Later it became a geriatric nursing facility, under the name of the Braeside Hospital, and closed in 1992.
From 1997 the buildings functioned as an additional campus of Mary Andrews College, formerly the Anglican Church’s Deaconess House and re-named that year after its longest-serving principal. The rest of Mary Andrews College moved to the Stanmore site from Newtown in 2007 but, following Newington’s purchase of the site in 2009, moved on to a new home in 2010.
Newington’s negotiations with the Anglican Church over the site had begun in 2002. The College’s initial interest was to consolidate boarding, at that time split between Edmund Webb House and the secondary campus, in one location. With that issue settled in 2007 in favour of consolidating boarding in Edmund Webb House, the negotiations resumed the next year with a view to establishing a pre-school facility on the site.
And the rest, as they say, is history.