Sunday 21 July 2019

Windows replaced after fire

Stained glass panels lost in fire

Art Teacher, Paula Campbell with student, Katarina Sidorova in St. Louis Secondary School
Art Teacher, Paula Campbell with student, Katarina Sidorova in St. Louis Secondary School
A closer look at Katarina’s design

Olivia Ryan

St. Louis staff and students celebrated the return of one of the school's most cherished features last week.

Historic stained glass windows which had been installed in the Chapel Hall were lost in the devastating fire in the school last May.

Teacher Orla Drumgoole explained how important their return was to all in the school.

'One of the worst losses to the school in the fire was of some of the beautiful stained glass windows in the Chapel Hall.'

'Thanks to Alpha Stained Glass, a company based in Derry, the windows are being carefully and sensitively restored and last week the first fruits of that labour were brought back to the school,' said Orla.

Theresa Coyle of Alpha Stained Glass explains: 'The windows were badly damaged. The first thing we did was to send samples of the damaged glass to Germany where they made sheets of glass to match and sent back to us. We then cut and painted the glass, and finally leaded the windows together.'

One of the windows was so badly damaged that the decorative panel in it could not be repaired.

There was a unique touch to the new design as art student Katarina Sidorova was chosen by her teacher and Principal Michelle Dolan to design a panel for the window.

'It is a depiction of the school castle with the red door to offer a splash of colour. The rays around the castle represent the sun behind our students as they head towards their bright futures,' said Ms. Drumgoole.

'Katarina worked on the design over the summer months back at home in Latvia and submitted two other designs. Although they were too complex for stained glass she learned a lot about the process of creating a design that would work well in glass.'

The talented student was thrilled to see her panel appear in the window last week.

'I love art and it was a really interesting project to be involved in. I am delighted to see how well my design fits with the rest of the windows,' said Katarina.

Other windows in the Chapel Hall are set to be installed in the coming months.

The Argus