Students release balloons to mark the occasion. Photo: Pat Moore.
The Minister for Education Richard Bruton was at Abbey Community College in Ferrybank on Friday to open the school's new extenstion.
The extension is an impressive addition to the school's current buildingproviding 3,215 sqm of additional space. It features a number of extra classrooms, specialised science labs, woodwork and engineering rooms, and an open-plan dining facility for students.
It also incorporates a purpose-built Special Educational Needs Unit.
School principal Detta Cahill welcomed the minister, who unveiled a commemorative plaque in the new extension, B2.
“After over four years of planning and building we have arrived at this day of celebration, when we are delighted to host our wide community of friends and supporters and to show off our beautiful new extension,” said Principal Cahill.
“Abbey Community College, since our establishment in 2000, continues our journey onward and the growth of our school community, both in capacity and reputation makes all of us truly proud.”
The school choir treated the minister to an entertaining performance, and the Abbey Traditional Music Group performed a selection of jigs and reels.
Chairperson of Kilkenny Carlow ETB Mary Hilda Cavanagh, the Diocesan Administrator, Msgr Ryan, public representatives, and many guests from the broader school community, attended the official opening ceremony with a symbolic presentation and liturgy focussing on the importance of shared community.
Abbey Community College, in its current guise, was established in 2000 following the amalgamation of the Sacred Heart of Mary Secondary School, Ferrybank and Slieverue Vocational School.
The founding partners were represented last week by Sr Ursula Canavan of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary and Cynthia Deane, Chief Executive of the ETB.
Fr Ray Dempsey blessed the new building and guests were treated to a wonderful display of sound and colour as hundreds of balloons were released from the new outdoor amphitheatre
Principal Cahill thanked the student body, the staff of the school, parents, and all others who support the school and work for its betterment.
The day concluded with a tour of the extension and a lunch was served in the new dining area for invited guests.