Dame Roma Mitchell Building

In 1920, the Sisters of Mercy purchased Barr Smith House in Angas Street. This handsome brick building was the town residence of Robert Barr Smith, a wealthy Adelaide businessman and his wife, Joanna. The house was a mansion and when occupied by the sisters, became a multi-purpose facility. The convent novices were trained in Barr Smith, the community kitchen was established in the building, and the ballroom became the community’s refectory. There were bedrooms and bathrooms for elderly sisters, and for the Mother Provincial. The community library was housed there together with a laundry, common rooms and the bursar’s office.

Barr Smith house
Barr Smith house, Angas Street, SAC Archives
Dame Roma Mitchell Building
Dame Roma Mitchell Building, SAC Archives

In 1982, the Barr Smith residence was demolished to make way for the Dame Roma Mitchell Building. The building was named after past student, Dame Roma Mitchell and opened in 1983. There were 8 classrooms facing Mitchell courtyard, offices for lease on the ground and on the first floor facing Angas Street. The first floor walkway linked with the Dunlevie and Jordan buildings.

It has had a number of uses over time including the SA Adelaide Language Centre, the Year 12 Centre, Year 10 and various primary classrooms.