independent

Sunday 15 September 2019

Building for Gorey's educational future

By Fintan Lambe

Ballycanew National School is possibly the only school in North Wexford where the builders' hard hats still have a presence.

The prefabs disappeared in 2011 when the mainstream school got two new classrooms, but the builders are back constructing a special Autism unit which includes three rooms for 18 children, including a pre-school room.

Principal Con Brosnan explained that the unit will serve all of North Wexford alongside the Autism units in Gorey Educate Together school.

The Autism unit is already operational in Ballycanew, as the assembly hall has been divided into two classrooms, and the school library is also being used for a classroom, and an old PE store serves as a sensory room.

'The idea is to help children with Autism to hopefully integrate into mainstream classes,' he said. 'We've already had one success this year.' He said they need more HSE support to help achieve this.

Builders will also soon be in Coláiste an Átha in Kilmuckridge. When they moved into their brand new and refurbished school in September 2007, there were 199 pupils at the school. There are now 283 second level students, and 70 post-leaving cert students. School principal Elizabeth Martin said they're building a new science lab, music room, and office space. They were delighted to get an allocation of funds from the Department of Education so quickly, and it's hoped the new building will be ready by September.

Ballygarrett National School is also getting a new classroom. 'The school has grown considerably,' said principal Niall Madden. 'We have around 216 pupils now.'

They got a new classroom two years ago, but now they need another one. 'At the minute we're using a small computer room and library as a classroom,' he said.

'The general purpose area is now our library, so the new classroom will give us back our computer room, library, and GP room.' He hopes the project will be complete by June and ready for September.

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