THE first permanent extension since the initial construction of St Aidan’s School in Shannon has been opened for some weeks and was recently blessed by the Bishop of Killaloe Kieran O’Reilly.
The new extension to the school consists of a main stream classroom, two resource rooms, staff toilets and an extended car park.
Speaking this week, school principal Patrice Hayes said; “We had it blessed following the confirmation ceremony, it was a good opportunity for the Bishop who was confirming the children to bless it on the same day. The children actually moved into it in April. We only applied for it in September 2012 and it was ongoing all of last year.”
She said that putting the extension in place had been quite a big project; “It’s one 80 metres squared classroom, a resource room, staff toilets and we also redesigned our existing car park. There was a lot of work.”
The school is going to have a new roof put on over the coming months. Speaking about it Ms Hayes said; “I initially applied for roof works under the emergency works scheme but that was refused in 2012. I reapplied under summer works in December last year. That’s going to be ongoing over the summer so the complete school roof is going to be redone. It’s a massive job.” It’s expected that the new roof will cost over €100,000 to complete.
She said she is very pleased that necessary works are being carried out. “It’s the first permanent extension to the school in over 30 years. Previous Boards of Management and Principals maintained it to a really high standard, but a new addition was long overdue as well as the works to the roof, because it has been leaking for the best part of 20 years. Obviously it has been repaired and repaired over time but you can only do that so often. It’s long overdue, but we’ll be like a new school by the time it’s all finished.”
The school currently has 268 pupils and numbers have been growing. It was founded in 1982 and there are ten class teachers who are in turn supported by resource and learning support teachers.
By Owen Ryan