THE ORIGINS of Loreto Secondary School were recalled with the official opening of the Balbriggan girls' school new extension, Gracefield House.
The ribbon to Gracefield House, named after the original fishing lodge which the Loreto Sisters bought from Lord Dunboyne in 1857, was cut by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny. The extension provides the school with a fantastic light- filled space, compromising 21 extra classrooms, science laboratories, art room, two music rooms, state of art gym and fitness suite, library, religion suite, computer room and offices. Planning for the project began over ten years ago. Building started in September 2010 , and the students moved in at the beginning of this school year in September 2012. The extension was designed by Quinn Barnwall Buggy Architects and built by Burns Construction.
Six hundred people were invited to the official opening last Thursday at 2.00pm,which took place in the new gym. Guests included An Taoiseach, local TDs and public representatives, school staff, sisters from the Loreto Convent in Balbriggan, the Loreto Trust Board, many past pupils, and 250 of our present pupils.
Speeches were made by the Taosieach, the Principal, Mr Eddie Fynes, chairperson of the Board of Management, Sr Gerardine Mullen, and the Head Girls - Ciara Mc Guinness, Lauren Behan, Eniola Kasim and Deirdre Harford. Fr Eugene Taaffe, parish priest of Balbriggan performed a blessing ceremony accompanied by the senior choir, under the direction of Mary Mc Fadden. The afternoon celebrations were followed by an Open Evening from 7 to 9pm. There were exhibitions, displays, performances of student work and tours of the new facilities. It was a huge success, with over 1,000 people visiting the school.
The atmosphere was amazing and it was a fitting end to a great day of celebration for all in Loreto Balbriggan. The school is the biggest Loreto school in the country with 1,222 students.