Knockbeg College on the Laois Carlow border
Parents, past pupils and others are invited along to Knockbeg College on the Laois Carlow Kildare to get a sneak preview at the school's €10 million redevelopment while also supporting fun day that is raising funds for new sports facilities.
On Friday April 20 Knockbeg College Parents Association will also launch its whole school development of a new set of sports dressing rooms by holding a fun afternoon which is open to all.
Principal Michael Carew is delighted at the speed of the build and welcomes everyone along to see the project for themselves.
"It is a chance to show the drawings of the dressing rooms, and give people outside a look at how the build is doing, and have a bit of fun, with refreshments also provided," Mr Carew said.
Construction began last July 2017 at the boys secondary school but rapid progress is being made. Three of five new 3-storey buildings are already roofed with internal fixing underway, and the last two are both almost at roof level.
"It is going brilliantly, the hope is that all five will be available for start of the new term on September 1. After that they will go about renovation all the old buildings. It is a busy and exciting year, we are surviving through the building because we have such fantastic goodwill from parents, the Board of management and the children, everybody has waited so long for this.
"I'm only here four years but some teachers are here 30 years, teaching in freezing cold classrooms not fit for purpose," he told the Leinster Express.
With pupil numbers rising rapidly from 360 in 2014 to 450 by next September, parents have rowed in behind the school to help build new sports dressing rooms.
He said the dressing rooms are needed.
"We have two dressing rooms but there are some days when we have 180 boys out playing and its not fair on them. The Board of Management, the Parents Association and the students decided to do a dressing room extension, with toilets on the outside available to children during lunchtimes. They are asking the whole community to come together to raise the estimated €80,000 needed," he said.
The parents association is asking all supporters and businesses connected to the school to "buy a brick". Part of the funds are in the form of a grant from the Leinster Council of the GAA. The principal said the school is very grateful for this support.
Knockbeg College, a former boarding school and part of the Kildare & Leighlin Diocese, is reknowned as a Gaelic football nursery school, with Laois footballer Chris Conway, Tommy Murphy and former GAA Presidents Liam O'Neill and Hugh Byrne among its alumni.
It has produced political leaders such as James Fintan Lalor, Kevin O'Higgins, William Hoey Kearney Redmond, Paddy Lalor and Charlie Flanagan.
The sports fun day takes place from 3pm until 5pm, fun events will include bubble soccer, cic-fada, and an exhibition football match, between current and past pupils.