Monday 23 July 2018

Cork school set to begin €550k restorations after 'Hurricane Ophelia' damage

Jim Long, the principal of Douglas Community School in Cork, surveys the damage to the gym after Hurricane Ophelia ripped off the roof Photo: Mark Condren
Jim Long, the principal of Douglas Community School in Cork, surveys the damage to the gym after Hurricane Ophelia ripped off the roof Photo: Mark Condren
The roof of Douglas Community School in Cork was blown off as Hurricane Ophelia caused massive damage. Photo: Mark Condren
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A Cork school that was destroyed during 'Hurricane Ophelia' last October is set to begin €550,000 restorations.

Douglas Community School in Co Cork lost its gym roof after the hurricane-like winds battered last October.

The roof of Douglas Community School in Cork was blown off as Hurricane Ophelia caused massive damage. Photo: Mark Condren
The roof of Douglas Community School in Cork was blown off as Hurricane Ophelia caused massive damage. Photo: Mark Condren

School principal Jim Long told Independent.ie that reparations are due to begin in April.

"We are currently in the design process but we hope to start building by April. We expect that the restorations will be done by August in time for the students who will be coming back after the summer."

Mr Long said that the loss of the school gym has caused a "void" in the community.

"The school gym was used very regularly by the whole community. Since last October, the pupils have been using outside pitches but the community is missing their hub. Everybody from the elderly to young children used the gym for recreation."

He added that the restorations are set to cost more than half a million euro.

"It will be around €550,000 to restore the gym. Not only is the entire roof gone, but subsequent rainfall has damaged the electrical wires and equipment. We are very grateful to the Department of Education for their support."

Mr Long said that he was initially surprised by how long the restoration will take.

"I would have thought it would be done much sooner but after being through the process, I can appreciate how much time it takes for a project like this.

"We were working on the damage within days of the storm and it is being done as quickly as it can possibly be done."

Independent.ie is awaiting comment from the Department of Education.

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