independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Boost for education with three schools and extension opening

RIBBONS CUT ON BRIGHT NEW CHAPTERS IN CHILDREN'S LEARNING

2012 WAS a special year for pupils who had waited for their new school buildings, some a lot longer than others, as three brand new schools and a long-awaited extension were all finally opened.

On a bright August morning, the new 16-room co-educational primary school on the Ballymakenny Road opened its doors for the first time.

For principal Catherine Tiernan Bell, finally seeing her 138 students file into St Oliver Plunkett's NS is a dream come true, since the ' birth' of the school in three pre-fabs at the nearby rugby club just a couple of years ago.

58 junior infants started in the school, bringing the total up to 138 students spread over junior, senior, first and second classes.

There are presently six teachers, including the principal.

The new primary school has a capacity for up to 480 pupils.

The second phase of the campus development involves the provision of a new 1,000student post-primary school, under the patronage of Educate Together and the VEC. It's expected to open in 2014.

After what must have felt like a lifetime of waiting and drafty prefabs, the ribbon was finally cut in October on the impressive new wing on Drogheda Grammar School.

The new development, which increases the campus from 255 students to comfortably accommodate 400, was completed over the summer, ready for the new term, and is a proud new chapter in the school's 343 year history, and that of the principal Richard Schmidt.

Facilities now include a bright and airy classroom block with modern computer rooms, science labs, arts and craft rooms and more, as well as spacious dining room, six tennis courts and flood lit Astro Turf pitch.

The unique date of 12/12/12 was chosen for the Bishop of Meath Michael Smith to officially open St Mary's Parish Primary school.

It is now the largest primary school in the country, but Principal Philip Ward was proud to say they have a 'small school feel', and the 988 boys and girls who attend the magnificent new school are drawn from the amalgamation of Fatima and St Mary's NS .

There are 49 teachers in the school – Bunscoil Pharoiste Naomh Muire Droichead Atha to give its full title – and it stretches to a size of 5,528m2.

St Joseph's NS in Mell, although in operation for a year, also enjoyed its official opening in 2012 with Cardinal Sean Brady on hand to perform the honours and praise all concerned for their sterling work.

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