From the Archives: Plans for a boarding house and swimming pool at Radford

By Mrs Annette Carter, College Historian

The early Radford College maps contain additions that might be surprising to some, such as boarder accommodation and a swimming pool. The proposed locations are now occupied by the Morison Centre and carpark and the Mackinnon Senior School.

Part of an original Radford College map dating to 1985:

Building plans

T.B. Millar wrote in the Radfordian that a boarding house was proposed “for which parents are pressing”. The boarding house was often raised at board meetings during the 1980s. As one board member pointed out in July 1984, “the College had always indicated that a boarding house would be built as soon as possible . . . some decision on this should be made” prompting a directive to gather details on requirements, costs, and boarding facilities in other ACT schools.

By the 1990s, the Board was investigating whether a suburban house should be purchased to accommodate “5 or 6 students” under the care of a “married teacher”. When a suitable house came up for sale, in 1992, a discussion ensued about the intricacies of the proposal, and it was resolved that a register of Radford families who were willing to have boarders would be established instead.

The evolution of Radford College's campus tells a story of decision-making and shifting priorities. While the swimming pool did not materialise, the deliberations, discussions and eventual resolution in the board minutes, unveils a persistent pursuit for a boarding house. This historical perspective sheds some light on the challenges faced by educational institutions in planning and development.