IT'S been a few years coming , but the brand new O'Brennan National School in Kielduff was officially openend by Deputy Jimmy Deenihan on Friday, in what was a truly memorable day for all involved.
The school's youngest pupils Harry O'Connell and Síleoonagh Mansfield joined the oldest past pupils Jackie Godley and Catherine Barry to celebrate the opening of the third O'Brennan National School in the parish - the original dating back to 1868, and the previous school which was opened 1949.
Although functioning since June of 2012, the brand new, eight classroom school was officially opened on Friday, where hundreds gathered for the unveiling of the new 2012 plaque, as well as a tree planting ceremony by the children. To commemorate the previous schools which have existed in the location, a plaque from each of them has been retained as part of the new school building.
School principal Michael Sweeney explained that work on the new building began in 2011, when students and teachers had to take temporary residence in prefabs at Ballybeggan Racecourse.
Having operated form there for a year, they finally returned to the new building last June.
Since its foundation in 1868 the school has gone through several compositions starting with two rooms and housing 150 students – 75 in each room, divided into boys and girls. In 1945 the Department of Education sanctioned a new school building on the site which included three classrooms, two bicycle sheds and a school yard .
The new €2.4m school, completed by Michael Williams and Associates has eight classrooms, a learning support room and a resource room, a general purpose hall, a library and a computer room. The building also has an additional room which has been adapted as a sensory room to help pupils who need additional support structures.