Shoalhaven Community Preschool relocates
The Sector > Economics > Property > Shoalhaven Community Preschool relocates and continues legacy of learning

Shoalhaven Community Preschool relocates and continues legacy of learning

by Freya Lucas

September 19, 2023

Kate Morris has a special connection to Shoalhaven Community Preschool. Not only does she lead the service as the Director, she is the third generation of her family to have been enrolled at the service. 


“I attended there myself, so did all three of my children and now my grandson,” she said.


The preschool recently had to relocate to make way for the Shoalhaven Hospital expansion, a moment which was full of mixed emotions for Ms Morris. 


“I’m obviously sad, there’s a lot of history there but I saw it as an opportunity to grow the service and move to a new contemporary, purpose-built building,” she said.


The recent move was the second in the preschool’s history, having started life as a playgroup at the Diggers Hall on Junction Street.


The RSL club donated the building in 1958 and a team of volunteers helped move it on the back of a truck to Shoalhaven Street beside the hospital – where it remained Shoalhaven’s only preschool until the 1970s.


“We couldn’t take it this time, the building had reached its expiration date and wouldn’t make the journey,” Ms Morris said.


As demolition day approached, generations of little learners returned as adults to say goodbye alongside former and current staff.


Each made their mark on the walls, leaving a touching message to honour the building that holds a special place in their hearts.

“I met my best friend here,” wrote one person.


“The place where you always feel safe and happy. We will love this place forever,” another added.


Ms Morris even reunited with her old Preschool Director from 1983.


“It was nice, everyone stood around, shared memories, shed a tear, had a laugh,” she said. “So much life unfolded in that building … births, deaths, marriages…”


“They think back to that time when they were at preschool and supported.”

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