Heritage Trail

De Young Performing Arts Centre (and former Laycock House)

Laycock House served many purposes for Carey students from 1925 to 2008, when it was demolished to make way for a new performing arts centre.

De Young Performing Arts Centre (and former Laycock House)
De Young Performing Arts Centre (and former Laycock House)

During 1924 and the earlier part of 1925, the Carey Council maintained a continuing appeal for funds with a goal of £10,000. When the appeal closed in May 1925 the total stood at £11,212. This sum included £2000 from a then anonymous donor to build a memorial dormitory.

In January of that year, the Council Executive had examined plans for building the memorial dormitory in the terms of the anonymous gift. When tenders were opened in June the lowest was found to be £2948, but the donor known by then to be Mr Burdett Laycock, agreed to increase his benefaction accordingly.

On 28 November 1925, the dormitory building, named in memory of the late Frederick Laycock, the donor's late father, was declared open by Mrs Lesley A Mellor, Burdett Laycock's daughter and mother of Alfred Burdett Mellor. Mr A F Fullard, President of the School Council unveiled a memorial tablet reading.

Laycock House was connected to the main schoolhouse by a first-floor covered passageway. It comprised an upstairs dormitory, master's room, linen room, bathroom and toilets. Downstairs was the boarders' common room, dressing and locker room, storeroom, bathroom and toilets. The showers had no hot water!

Because of financial stringencies and the need for more classrooms to accommodate the increasing school numbers, the boarding house was closed at the end of 1951 and converted into four classrooms, two on each level. The downstairs locker rooms, showers and toilets became available for the use of visiting sporting teams.

In 1959, Laycock House was converted to General Science and Biology laboratories and during the 1970s, was handed over to music.

Loading...
Laycock House (right) and Urangeline (left)
Laycock House (right) and Urangeline (left)

On Thursday 11 September 2008, a ceremony was held to farewell Laycock House as it was demolished to begin construction of the new Performing Arts Facility. The soil was turned by Mr Alfred Mellor AO. A Foundation Scholar, Mr Mellor left Carey in 1933, and served the School over many years as its Honorary Archivist. The occasion was attended by six former Carey Boarders of Laycock House.

The De Young Centre for Performing Arts, named in honour of former Principal Phil De Young OAM (2002–09) was opened in March 2010. Today this facility hosts an array of music tuition rooms, large rehearsal areas, School Reception and a 300-seat auditorium named in honour of former Board Chairman, Dr Ian Woolf. 

Many wonderful performances have taken place in the Ian Woolf Auditorium over the years and students utilise the practice and training facilities daily in the Laycock School of Music.

The De Young Centre for Performing Arts today

This is a stop on Carey's Heritage Trail.

Learn about the Heritage Trail here.

LATEST NEWS
Announcing our 2023 Carey Medallist: Hugh van Cuylenburg (1998)
Announcing our 2023 Carey Medallist: Hugh van Cuylenburg (1998)
KEEPING UP WITH CAREY
Follow us on Instagram for regular updates about Carey life.
KEEPING UP WITH CAREY
© Carey Baptist Grammar School Limited
ABN 83 051 576 062CRICOS #00135G
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this land and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We respect their Elders past and present and recognise the injustices endured by the First Nations peoples of this country.