This week is a historic for education in Portlaoise as three primary schools wmove into their new state-of-the-art buildings.
The buildings are located at Summerhill / The Downs off the Timahoe Road and schools principals and staff from Portlaoise Educate Together NS, Gaaelscoil Phortlaoise and Maryborough NS have been very busy over the past few weeks making their new buildings feel like home for incoming pupils.
The three schools will keep their original opening and closing times which are staggered and this should ensure a smooth flow of traffic in the area. Portlaoise Educate Together NS begins at 8.30am and pupils finish at 2.10pm.
Gaelscoil Phortlaoise begins class at 8.50am and finishes at 2.30pm, and Maryborough NS will begin at 8.40am.
The new buildings provide the schools with better facilities and greater capacity for more students.
Educate Together NS are expecting almost 270 pupils later this week filling ten classrooms and they will also be home to an ASD class.
Gaelscoil Phortlaoise will be doubling their junior infants class and will welcome over 250 children to their new school while Maryborough NS are expecting approximately 75 pupils when they open on September 2.
The new school buildings each have libraries, PE halls. They will also shared green space.
Educate Together NS principal Sinead Ahern was delighted with the new facilities.
“Everything is state of the art and the rooms are all beautiful and airy. We brought an art project from the old building, it was one of the last the pupils did and it will be one of the first things they see this week”.
Dominic O’ Braonain, principal of Gaelscoil Phortlaoise was excited about the move.
“The amount of work has been phenomenal, relocating 100% across town and there have been some wonderful efforts. The new school looks amazing,” he said.
Maryborough NS principal Valerie Whitton was equally pleased.
“We are busy unpacking and making the building feel like Maryborough NS. We are fully equipped for all pupils now”.