Thursday 18 July 2019

Dawn of a new age breaks for Lusk NS

Ken Phelan

Now approaching its 200th year of educating the children of Lusk National School held the official opening ceremony of its new school building last week, and after fourteen years in the waiting, finally unveiled its new state-of-the-art campus.

Speaking to The Fingal Independent after the ceremony, principal of the senior school, Paul Comiskey explained the reasons for building the new school, the sense of pride felt by its pupils and how the school is now one of the best in the country: 'We've had a school on these grounds since 1823 - Lusk parish school is here 196 years. There've been six different buildings, and this is the newest version of the building, but we've been the parish school for nearly two hundred years.

'This building project has been in the pipeline since we initially looked for an extension in 2005, and it has taken fourteen years to get to the stage where we could open the school. We've grown in that time from about two hundred pupils to nearly nine hundred and twenty pupils, so we've expanded massively.

'Part of the decision was to get it changed to a junior and senior national school, to have just one school that would keep the personal touch with teachers knowing all the children. We moved into it in the last week of June last year, but this was the official opening ceremony yesterday, with the blessing by the Archbishop.'

Paul said the Archbishop, as well as blessing the new building, spoke to some of the parents whose children had sadly passed away over the years.

The Archbishop then blessed the school's 'memory stone' - dedicated to children of the school who had been lost, before blessing the foyer and the artwork of both senior and junior schools.

A sacramental ceremony was then held in the school hall, with choirs from each school joining together in song.

According to Principal Comiskey, the new school is now 'one of the nicest buildings in the country', with sixteen classrooms on each side. Facilities include fifteen learning support rooms, quiet spaces for wellness and wellbeing, outdoor classrooms and dedicated computer rooms.

With a total of 920 students attending between both schools, the school is now full to capacity, which presents problems for future demand, as Paul said: 'That's a worry for the future, that another school probably is needed somewhere else in the village, because lots of new building is going on, and I think Educate Together are at capacity too.

'It's a concern for principals in North Dublin.

'This school was built for our existing population, it wasn't built for three or four new estates happening.

'Rush is over-subscribed, we're over-subscribed and Skerries is over-subscribed.'

Paul said the teachers and students of Lusk National School are 'delighted' with their new school building, and said the children's pride in their school was evident during the ceremony.

Now two hundred years old, Lusk National School has descendants from its early incarnations, and no doubt, the same will be said in 200 years' time.

Fingal Independent