St Joseph's NS extension is opened
Minister Harris and Archbishop Martin among guests at event
There were huge celebrations this week for the official opening of the new building extension at St Joseph's National School, Templerainey. Monday's fine weather meant that the event could be held outside in the sunshine.
Minister Simon Harris and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin were the guests of honour last Monday. Wicklow TD Mr Harris officially opened the new extension with Archbishop Martin offering a special blessing for the occasion.
All of the school's pupils attended the ceremony and they were joined by invited guests including retired staff and principals, parents and Cllr Miriam Murphy from Arklow Municipal District. The design and construction team were also present as was everyone connected with the project. A representative of the nearby Presbyterian Church, who had generously allowed teachers the use of their car park during the building works, also attended. Marian Kavanagh, chairperson of the school's board of management, spoke briefly at the event and Principal Mary Dalton also gave a short speech to mark this significant moment. Several pupils read prayers of the faithful and Vice-Principal Doyle provided a scriptural reading. There was a performance by past pupil Michael Kennedy. The school choir sang and they were accompanied on the day by Bridget Kenny.
'It was a lovely occasion,' said Principal Dalton, 'we were delighted'.
The extension is a standalone build which replaced 13 temporary prefab rooms with ten mainstream classrooms and four special educational needs classrooms. All of St Joseph NS's 650 pupils are now accommodated in permanent classrooms.
As part of the project, St Joseph's ASD unit for children with autism underwent a separate refurbishment. There are now 24 mainstream classrooms, five classrooms for children with special educational requirements, a computer room, a general-purpose room, PE hall and nine learning support classrooms.