Rathcoole Holy Family NS opens new €5m extension

By Mary Dennehy

CELEBRATIONS were high at Holy Family NS in Rathcoole this week, when a €5 million renovation and extension to the school building was officially opened on Monday.

The 665-pupil school was working out of a 14-classroom building, supported by ten prefabs.

Holy Family NS extension 1 01 December 2016

However, after a multi-million euro investment into the school, the existing building and its 14 classrooms have been internally renovated with ten new permanent classrooms replacing the prefabs.

A special education room, library, two new and dedicated general purpose halls, a soft-play interior garden and auxiliary space have also been built, alongside 36 staff car-parking spaces with new onsite drop-off and the provision of new gates and entrances onto the Johnstown Road.

School principal Colm Byrne told The Echo that the merging of the old school building with the new has been “seamless”.

Speaking to The Echo, Mr Byrne said: “We received a lot of support from both the school community and the wider community and we are very proud of our community, of our school, of our pupils and of our staff.

“We have been looking forward to this day for a long time, especially the there wasn’t much work done in the school building on Monday!

“However, we believe that the official opening on Monday will live long in the memories of all of our pupils as a very special day for them and the community.”

Local TD and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald officially opened the new extension on Monday, with the event also being attended by Bishop Eamonn Walsh and parish priest Fr Enda.

Speaking on the day, the Tánaiste said: “Today we are not just celebrating a new school building, we are celebrating Holy Family National School, which has developed enormously since its beginning in 1857.

“Although the school has been relocated several times over the years, it continues to grow and expand, illustrated with this new extension. 

“The idea of a school is much greater than the building that houses it. It includes the school’s history, tradition, staff and past and present pupils.”

Commending the Principal Colm Byrne, staff, parents and pupils, the Tánaiste added: “I also wish to pay tribute to your former principal Martin Hoban who kick-started and worked hard to secure this extension.

“We are celebrating this fantastic new extension . . . a wonderful, colourful, state-of-the-art addition to your school which includes additional classrooms, a library, computer room and special educational rooms.

“In the planning of this extension, it was ensured that all our children’s needs are catered for in the best possible manner.”

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