THE T’s were crossed and the i’s dotted in Kilkenny’s Loreto Secondary School on Tuesday evening as the contract to build the new extension was signed between the school’s board of management and McCann Builders.
Sister Carmel Gallagher, who was the principal in the school in 2001 and when planning permission was granted, was there for the turning of the sod. Current Loreto principal Colm Kehir said: “Sister Carmel is responsible for all of this trouble.”
Sr Carmel paid tribute to the former principal of the Loreto, Helen Renehan, who died recently, who had worked for seven years on bringing the project through the planning and design phase.
Sr Tunney, who taught in the school, welcomed the project. “The original school was built for 450 students,” she said. “It’s 33 years since that was opened by Bishop Birch. We now have 820 students. So it is much needed.”
The current principal said the building project would provide a boost for the local economy. “While the builders might be from Omagh, it’ll mainly be local labour that does the work,” he said. “With sub-contracting of the 80 or more people working on the site at least 70 will be locals.”nnn
The project will take approximately 15 months to complete, and one of the biggest issues in the planning of the project has been scheduling the construction so that it does not interfere with the students.
The new section of the school will be built first, during the summer months, and in September some students will be moved into this area while the existing buildings in the school are refurbished.
The new extension will include a new entrance to the school which will now face onto the Granges Road and will incorporate a green area and a car park. It will house approximately 20 rooms over two storeys with a mixture of general classrooms, specialist rooms (a science laboratory, two computer rooms, music, religious education, drama, learning support, business, multi-media) and an administration area.