New Portlaoise primary school finally ends prefab blight

Scoil Bhríde

New Portlaoise primary school finally ends prefab blight
By Lynda Kiernan lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

The children and staff of biggest primary school in Laois will say a firm goodbye to prefab classrooms this September, when a new school building opens its doors.

Scoil Bhride National School in Knockmay, Portlaoise is home to almost 800 boys and girls.

It has been in need of a new building for well over a decade, with only eight classrooms in the school building, and more than 30 prefabs.

Most of the children attended lessons in prefabs that took up most of the playground.

Now with a 34 classroom brand new school completed during the summer on site, a new era is about to begin.

Monsignor John Byrne PP is happy to bid farewell to the prefabs.

“I am very happy to say there will be no more prefabs inthe parish primary schools, come September,” he said.

He said it is “beautiful new accommodation”.

“It is ready for the beginning of the school year. All 34 classes will be in the new building. It is a spectacular new building, beautiful new accommodation,” he said.

There is still some work left to be be finished.

“Some work will still continue. The ASD unit has yet to be built on site,” he said.

The timine of both Scoil Bhride NS and the Holy Family Schools opening on the same week, was not planned.

“It is fortuituous that both are opening at the same time. It was always our intention that one would not be left behind, but I didn't think they would coincide,” Msgr Byrne said.

Work began on the new school in January 2016 by Clancy Construction from Tipperary, and during this summer the old school building and prefabs were demolished.

Some new classrooms were put to use last June because of construction work.

The children will return to their new school in waves to help them adjust to the new building.

They start to return next Monday September 4 for 5th and 6th classes.

This is followed on Tuesday for only 2nd, 3rd and 4th classes, Wednesday for only Junior Infants, Senior Infants and 1st class.

From Thursday September 7 all classes will attend together.

Scoil Bhríde has Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) status.