GRANGE National School celebrated an exciting new era last week with the official opening of its new extension. The entire school community gathered outside in glorious sunshine to celebrate Mass with Bishop Denis Nulty, who also performed the official opening
“It was a beautiful morning, the sun was shining. We really couldn’t have planned it any better,” enthused school principal Leah Mulhall.
The new extension includes four classrooms and two learning support rooms, which also facilitated a relook at the layout of the entire school. “St Kevin’s, our autism unit, is now at the centre of our school, with a link corridor connecting the junior and senior ends of the school, which is so much better,” said Leah.
The school grounds, traffic management system and parking have also been enhanced.
Bishop Nulty was joined by Mgr Brendan Byrne and Fr Andy Leahy, PP, Tullow, with the bishop unveiling a plaque to mark the official opening of the extension. It’s a date that affable Bishop Nulty is unlikely to forget, as Friday 7 June also marked his birthday.
“We had a birthday cake for him and everyone sang Happy birthday … he was delighted,” smiled Leah.
Pupils took an active role in the Mass and also provided some wonderful entertainment following the formalities, including a rousing rendition of the school anthem.
Speakers included Larry Kavanagh, chairman of the board of management, and Ms Mulhall, both of whom acknowledged the tremendous work of former principal Maria O’Rourke in advancing the new extension. Ms O’Rourke has been on secondment from the school for the past two years, with Ms Mulhall taking on the role of acting principal.
And this week, Ms Mulhall was appointed principal of Grange NS and will officially take up the position in September.
Former members of the school’s board of management were also among the invited guests, including LV Conway, Lockie Byrne, Tom McDonald and Jimmy O’Toole. Tributes were paid to their outstanding contribution, particularly during a time when the future of the school was thrown into real doubt.
Grange NS has grown significantly over the decades to now have an enrolment of 224 pupils, 14 teachers, six SNAs, a permanent secretary and a caretaker. Following the formalities, the parents’ association provided a wonderful array of refreshments.