1.5m euro arts centre for Kilkenny College

KILKENNY COLLEGE is planning on embarking on a e1.5 million expansion complete with an auditorium and purpose built classrooms for both art and music.

KILKENNY COLLEGE is planning on embarking on a e1.5 million expansion complete with an auditorium and purpose built classrooms for both art and music.

The development of an arts and music centre will mark the final stages of the schools on-going development plan. The school has been expanding constantly since it moved into a green field site on Castlecomer road in 1985 and is now the largest boarding school in Ireland.

The new centre will cater for the needs of the 14 staff and 300 pupils studying music and art. The new building, which will cost between €1.2m and €1.5m, will contain an auditorium, purpose built classrooms, arts and crafts rooms and 13 individual studios for music practice. Kilkenny College, which has its own orchestra, has a long tradition of promoting music and places to practice are particularly important.

It is expected that work will get under way on the new development with in the next two years. The plans for the new centre have been completed but have not yet been submitted to the County Council for approval. The new building will be built on the site of the McAdoo hall which will be knocked to make way for the expansion.

“This is a really big day for Kilkenny College. We are very mindful of the economic problems faced by parents and past pupils but after much thought we have decided to press on with the new centre. We have scaled back our ambitions somewhat to take account of the new reality but as the economist Morgan Kelly said in Kilkenny this week, education will be one of the solutions to our problems and we must continue to invest,” said Ian Coombes, the headmaster of Kilkenny College.

The Kilkenny College Foundation now intends to mobilise support from past and current parents, past pupils, staff and friends of the College at home and abroad to raise the funds needed. No money will come from the State.

“We are extremely grateful to those who have made previous developments possible, and we hope that anybody, and particularly any member of the Kilkenny College constituency will come forward with ideas or make a donation, no matter how big or small,” said Henry Yates, chairman of the Kilkenny College Foundation.