Engineering a bright future at St Michael's

Dónal Nolan

St Michael's College is answering the growing academic demand it is experiencing for engineering and design in no uncertain way this summer as a new block dedicated to the technical subjects takes shape.

The College this week unveiled the start of the construction of a block at the rear of the main school building that will provide vital new state-of-the-art engineering and design spaces.

"We're delighted to see the physical building taking shape having been planning for it in recent years and it's set to deliver first rate facilities and education to meet the growing demand for Engineering and DCG (Design, Construction and Graphics) we're seeing here," Principal John Mulvihill told The Kerryman.

Over 20 senior cycle students are now studying DCG at St Michael's - a more than fourfold increase in the numbers opting for the subject at the College over recent years, Mr Mulvihill explained.

"We have to meet that demand and give our students the opportunity and equipment they need to pursue these subjects onto third level. They are becoming increasingly popular as a result of the employment opportunities in the computing and biomedical engineering sectors in particular," he explained.

The new extension comprises three big spaces, with the engineering room the largest - to contain special, cutting-edge lathes. Vice Principal Liam Hassett oversees the engineering department with James Sweeney overseeing the DCG department. The block will also house a graphics room - the junior cycle precursor subject to DCG.

Quite apart from laying the groundwork for a brighter future for the North Kerry economy in general, it is also proving a boost for the current economy with Tralee-based firm Parkway Construction LTD undertaking the build; and Kerry firm Kane Williams Architects behind the design. It is hoped it will be completed by October 5.