No word on plans for convent building

The beautiful Our Lady of Sion convent is one of Sales iconic and historically important buildings.
The beautiful Our Lady of Sion convent is one of Sales iconic and historically important buildings.

THE Diocese of Sale this week confirmed the future of the historic Sion convent building in Sale is still yet to be decided.

Speaking with the Gippsland Times, the director of Catholic education in the Diocese of Sale, Ms Maria Kirkwood, said discussions were underway to determine the future of the building and surrounding site, on the corner of York and Raglan Sts.

"A number of options are being considered, but at this stage, no decisions have been made," she said.

The amalgamation of Catholic College's Sion and St Patrick's campuses will take place in 2021, leaving the Sion building empty.

In July 2016, the Bishop of the Diocese of Sale, the Most Reverend Patrick O'Regan, and Marist Provincial Australia's Brother Peter Carroll, said the ongoing financial viability of maintaining both campuses made it necessary to look into the future provision of Catholic secondary education in Sale.

The pair confirmed the Sion site would "remain in the hands of Catholic authorities and its future purpose will be determined at a later date".

At the time, Catholic College Sale principal Chris Randell explained Sion was owned by the diocese, which has since formed a planning committee in consultation with the Sion Sisters.

"... the school won't be directly involved with the Sion decision," Mr Randell said.

The Sion site is zoned residential, and has a high potential value for residential development, but its historic buildings are protected by Wellington Shire heritage overlays.

Sion is also on the National Trust of Australia register and Register of the National Estate.

The first stage of the Convent of Notre Dame de Sion on York St was opened in 1893, with the opening of the chapel overseen by Mother Raphaela in 1901.