Saturday, July 20, 2024

New €4.9m Curraghmore School to be completed in July

By Claire Corrigan

It’s been a very long road for the staff and pupils of Curraghmore NS, but it now seems certain that the staff and pupils should be moving into their new school at Ardmore Road in September, after it was announced last week that Holy Family National School has a new completion date of July 2019.
A meeting was held on the 6 February 2019 between the Department of Education, Westmeath County Council (WCC) and  Curraghmore School representatives, during which it was confirmed to Board of Management (BoM) Chairperson, Fr. Paul Crosbie and School Principal, Michael Molloy that a completion date of July 2019 remains on schedule.
The new school at Ardmore Road consists of a two-storey, 16-classroom building and a two-classroom special needs unit and includes a general purpose hall, special education teaching rooms and resource rooms, all with the latest technology and wired for Wi-Fi internet connections, two ball-courts, junior playground, special needs unit play area and open green space.
“It cannot be overstated how welcome this news is, especially to the current 287 pupils”, the Principal, Mr. Molloy commented. “Our 20 year struggle to achieve a new school is now down to circa 20 weeks. The staff and parents are so relieved that contingency measures currently in place are finally coming to an end. Our new school is now on schedule to open for September 2019.”
He said that it was particularly welcome news in light of the fact that in excess of 325 pupils have already enrolled for September 2019 and that they will “at long last get the facilities they richly deserve. This figure includes pupils who have enrolled for ASD classes, a facility which is absolutely necessary as insufficient provision currently exists locally for same.
The school’s current Board of Management, and indeed previous Boards’ strenuous efforts are finally coming to fruition.”
He added that it should also be noted that a rental bill of €45,000 every 6 months is drawing to a close, which began back in September 2001. “We acknowledge the efforts of all concerned with this project and look forward to a new chapter come September, in our new school on the Ardmore Road,” he concluded.
Parents of children at Curraghmore N.S. were thrilled to receive the good news about the completion date for their new school Holy Family N.S. “They had expected their children to be in their brand new school building on Ardmore Road in September 2018 however the project was delayed.” a spokesperson for the Parents Association told Topic. Westmeath County Council and the Department both reassured Fr. Crosbie and Mr Molloy that the new school will be ready for occupation in time for the new 2019 – 20 school year. August is scheduled for final Building Control Regulations compliance and the long-awaited move in.”
Liz Carey, Chairperson of Curraghmore N.S. Parents’ Association welcomed the news, stating:
‘Parents are absolutely delighted with the strong commitment from Westmeath County Council and the Department that Holy Family N.S. will be completed in July, 2019. We can see the recent progress on site and welcome the fortnightly meeting between WCC and our Board of Management along with the addition of the school as an agenda item on the monthly Mullingar Municipal District Meetings. The whole school community welcome these latest developments and the reassurances that our children will be starting the new 2019-20 school year in their new school.”
She said both the children and teachers have been patiently waiting, and continue to wait, in unacceptable conditions in Curraghmore N.S. “Parents of 327 children are really looking forward to their children going to a beautiful new state of the art building on the Ardmore Road in September. We have seen the plans; it will be colourful and has so much space and natural light.
“Naturally, Holy Family N.S. will hold a celebration event to mark the official opening of the new school. The Parents Association also plan a Farewell to Curraghmore open event for all past pupils and parents in the new school building. There will be photographs from the 1940s onwards and will provide the opportunity for all to see our new school. They will also get to see commissioned Art installations by renowned midlands artist Kevin Flood, based on The Children of Lir and Gulliver’s Travels. I am sure children, staff and wider local community will enjoy and benefit greatly from the new facilities.”

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