"IT'S a day of celebration for the community of Aberdeen."
That's how Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle's acting director of schools Gerard Mowbray summed up the completion of stage two at St Joseph's High School on Tuesday.
Speaking after the official opening of the $7.8 million capital works project, and blessing by Bishop Bill Wright, he said everyone should feel proud of the "magnificent facilities".
"We are delighted to see the conclusion of the latest development at St Joseph's," he explained.
"This has transformed significant components of the school and delivered a range of new learning spaces, staff and administration facilities.
"The project delivers outstanding facilities to enhance the learning process and the environment within which staff, students and parents can operate.
"It also aligns with the strategic direction of the diocese to ensure that our Catholic schools can boast facilities that are highly-effective for pupil engagement and learning as well as offering effective and aesthetically pleasing work spaces for staff.
"I believe it's important the Upper Hunter has schools to match those within the Maitland-Newcastle region.
"It is an extension of our obligation that commits to an environment of excellence for the increasing number of families choosing a Catholic education."
In his speech of thanks, St Joseph's principal Robert Holstein said the opening of the building works marked the final stage of a project that began in 2013.
"This would not have been completed without the financial support of the Australian Government through its Capital Grants Program and the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle through the Schools Building Fund," he added.
He also thanked the staff, parents and his predecessor John Tobin for their support and the part they played in the vision and planning of the St Joseph's project in 2012.
"I'd like to express my gratitude to everyone, too, for their patience, especially in the early years," he said.
"St Joseph's provides quality education in buildings that offer students learning needs today and into the future.
"Our school has changed greatly since its beginnings.
"And, the fact that our student population grows each year is a reflection of parents' confidence in our abilities to provide a quality all-round education for their children.
"We are a proud Josephite school, founded by the Sisters of St Joseph's, and we strive to maintain the standards of education that is very much reflective of the Sisters of St Joseph, Mary McKillop and Tenison-Woods."