Maryborough National School were delighted to officially open their new school building at Summerhill, Portlaoise on Friday last, March 14.
This special occasion commenced with a service in St Peter’s Church, Portlaoise, which was conducted by School Patron and Bishop of Cashel and Ossory, Reverend Michael Burrows.
Before the service began, the pupils performed for the parents and staff by singing and playing the violin. The rector, Reverend Dr Stanley Monkhouse, also showed his musical abilities on the organ.
During the service, Bishop Burrows spoke of the importance of acquiring wisdom in school.
Rosemary Day, Chairperson of the Board of Management, thanked the Department of Education and Skills, members of the Board of Management, and the parents for all their efforts in bringing the project at Summerhill to light.
She also thanked the school staff, and especially Principal Valerie Whitten, for their enthusiasm and commitment.
Following the service, the students, staff and parents returned to the school for the formal opening of the building.
Bishop Burrows gathered everyone outside, where he said two prayers, one in english and one as gaeilge, to bless the building.
“Here may these children learn wisdom and get the understanding to make the right choices in life.
“With much joy I say that this school is officially ar oscailt!” Bishop Burrows said as he cut the ribbon.
He then unveiled the plaque to honor the occasion and planted an apple tree. Refreshments were served afterwards in the school.
Principal Valerie Whitten said that although she missed the old building, she was happy in their new home.
“This is a new beginning for us. We were in the old building for such a long time, and I’m a creature of habit, so I do miss it. But we have great facilities and space here,” she said.
Rosemary Day also favoured the new space and light.
“This is a positive environment for all of our pupils to grow up in,” she said.