Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Building completed at two schools

With two major school building projects virtually completed in the town, Kilcullen is in better shape to accommodate current and future needs of its growing children and young people populations, writes Brian Byrne.

A new wing to Cross and Passion College has seen almost €1m spent there over the last year, with the construction of three new classrooms and a new Woodwork room, as well as a new Administration block with Reception and offices for the Principal, and a parents room. The former Principal's and Secretary's rooms have become a new classroom.

The work has also added a new Science/Chemistry lab converted from the former Library, and the school now has four Science laboratories. The new Woodwork room is twice the size of the previous one.

The Library is in the process of being moved into two former classrooms in the old part of the school, and a recent sponsored cycle organised by a group of parents has raised over €5,000 twards the cost of this, as it wasn't part of the Department of Education funding.

"The Administration block has been occupied since Christmas, and the new classrooms are currently being used for the Junior Cert examinations," says Assistant Principal Noel Clare. "September will see everything complete with some work still to be done to reinstate the Library in its new location."

The builders were Wexford-based Cleary Doyle.

"The last major extension to the school was in 1986 when it was envisaged that the school would have 500 pupils," Noel Clare notes. "The current numbers are over 700, so the latest extension goes some way to cater for the increased numbers. However, with the growing population in the catchment area, the numbers looking to attend the school are set to increase further over the coming years, and should this continue it is doubtful that even the latest extension can cater for such increased numbers."

Meanwhile, the new building at Scoil Bhride is now fully open to view, and comprises ten classrooms, a General Purpose hall that can be divided into two smaller halls, and a purpose-built ASD Unit for children with autism which is called Sonas.

This unit consists of three classrooms, a multi-sensory room, a general purpose area and a sensory garden. Sonas has direct access to our sensory garden.

"There is a lot of work going on in our old building، which is to be fully upgraded," says Principal Anne Flanagan. "The prefabs will be removed in early July and the refurbishment will hopefully be completed by the beginning of September, then the ground work will continue with additional tarmac and landscaping work to be carried out."

There will be an official opening organised when all the work has been completed, but in the meantime people are welcome to visit the new building and have a look around between 3-4pm each day. "It's well worth a visit," Ann says.