Wembley: Historic schoolhouse given new life after 125 years

The interior of the new Sister Martin Kelly Centre.
The exterior of the new Sister Martin Kelly Centre.
The interior of the new Sister Martin Kelly Centre. The exterior of the new Sister Martin Kelly Centre.

AN HISTORIC Wembley schoolhouse which sat neglected for decades has been brought back to life.

The Sister Martin Kelly Centre at MercyCare’s Wembley site was originally opened in 1893, and was built by the Sisters of Mercy as a schoolhouse for the Subiaco Boys’ Orphanage.

The schoolhouse was recognised by the Heritage Council of WA, but fell into poor condition some decades ago.

Planning for the renovation began in 2012, works started in 2016, and the project was completed earlier this year.

The centre was named for the late Sister Martin Kelly, who worked for a better future for disadvantaged children from the late 1950s until the mid 1980s.

MercyCare interim chief executive David Holden said the centre had undergone an amazing transformation.

“The project has been a painstaking restoration, with great attention to detail to try to capture the spiritual and historic context of the building,” he said.

Mr Holden said the centre now has a new life as a function and meeting centre; it was officially blessed at a ceremony this month conducted by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe.