by Richard Hartmann
The principal of a City primary school has described the re-opening of their new school building this week as a “dream come true”.
Bríd Ní Neachtain of Scoil Fhursa has said that this week has been the happy end of a six-year journey as the new school opened.
The school at Nile Lodge originally opened as an All-Irish model school in 1933, and the landmark traditional style school house, which is a listed building has been preserved as part of the new build.
It was a day of double celebration for the students and staff on Monday as they re-opened after COVID-19 lockdown and the students got to see the new extension for the first time.
“The planning for the extension started six years ago and building eventually started last May. It was a long process getting the planning permission, but I had incredible support from my board of management who helped me find somewhere to safely house the 125 senior cycle children while the work was going on. We were very lucky that we were able to move the kids up to St Mary’s secondary school just up the road,” said Ms Ní Neachtain.
While the build was being done the younger children initially stayed on the premises but were then moved up to the Ardilaun House Hotel while the internal works were completed. This allowed to the job to eventually finish three weeks ahead of schedule.
The new building which sits behind the old school house has four new state of the art classrooms each measuring 80 square meters and conforming to all the modern department of education guidelines.
“We are extremely proud of our new school. Our architect, Niamh Kearns did an amazing job marrying the old building with the new one. I think Nile Lodge has changed forever,” said Ms Ní Neachtain.
Orla Greaney who has two girls in the school said they were thrilled to be back seeing their friends and teachers again after so many weeks at home.
“We are all so impressed with what Brid, Mairead and the team have done in making an already special school even more special for our kids,” she said.
Ms Ní Neachtain said that the school don’t have any plans to increase student numbers but that the project was about creating a safe and happy environment for the 244 students, 14 teachers and four special needs assistants.