YMCA buys former Ipswich nursing home

The Ipswich complex will be repurposed into a school.

Not for profit community organisation YMCA has paid $1.75 million for a former aged care facility in Ipswich, in south-east Queensland.

The three-level complex, Villa Maria, at 98 Limestone Street, about 55 kilometres south-west of Brisbane, will be repurposed into an independent school for students aged between 12 and 17 years.

“The move from aged care facility to YMCA Community Centre and Vocational School will see a number of major changes, which include the residences turned into classrooms and dining rooms turned into recreational spaces,” Savills Capital Transactions broker Gregory Woods, who marketed the site with colleague Robert Dunne, said.

The 3359 square metre holding includes a 2750 sqm building with a chapel in the basement.

The vacant property was marketed for its potential to be renovated. Agents also touted the elevated corner site, with “picturesque urban views” as a redevelopment prospect. The site is not far from the Ipswich train station, Riverlink shopping centre and Ipswich Hospital.

More than one in eight school aged students in Australia attended an alternative facility last year, according to this Savills statement. One in four were reported to have left school before completing year 12.

“The YMCA delivers a flexible, individualised learning environment to their students, helping to re-engage students with their education,” Mr Woods said.

Alternative schools can include smaller class sizes which allows students to spend more one-on-one time with teachers, the agency said.

The Geneva-based YMCA – an acronym for the Young Men’s Christian Association – is said to have more than 58 million beneficiaries from 125 national associations.

An aerial view of the site (outlined) in relation to central Ipswich.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and experienced analyst, Marc is the co-founder of realestatesource.com.au