THE official opening of St Bronagh’s Primary School and St Bronagh’s Youth Club took place recently.
Part of a joint scheme, St Bronagh’s Primary School and St Bronagh’s Youth Club new buildings were funded by the Department of Education.
Both facilities opened in 2018 to welcome students and youth club members but this event marked the official opening of the completed project buildings.
Mr Jimmy Morgan, on behalf of the Youth Club said: “I am very grateful to DENI, the Diocesan Trustees and Father Kearns for providing this lovely building for the Youth Club.
“Our club has been in existence for over 60 years and we have always had a good working relationship with the three local primary schools and we are very proud of our cross community work.
“We are grateful for our funding from the Education Authority and the support of our local community. The youth club has over 250 members and our leader in charge and his staff are dedicated to providing an attractive and varied programme of activities and a safe environment for the boys and girls of the parish.”
John Gallagher, School Principal, said: “As a staff and a school community we are thrilled to be able to have this beautiful building in a wonderful setting to encourage an atmosphere of learning.
“Our pupils were very involved in the design process and met with the architects during development to share their ideas.
“As an Eco-School our Eco-Councillors had an input into some of the design elements, including the addition of natural planting, bird boxes and the pupils even painted the ventilation cowls which are fixed to our grassed roof area.
“Our work with the design team contributed to us achieving Ambassador Eco-School Status in 2018, a very prestigious recognition of our environmental ethos.
“We were also thrilled to learn that the building has since won a prestigious RUSA Design Award – the Liam McCormick Prize for Building of the Year 2018. The seven classroom school now caters for almost 200 pupils and will continue to provide the highest quality education standards for the local community in the future.”
Mr Gallagher finished by thanking the Department of Education for funding the project and the Diocese and especially Father Kearns for their unwavering support.
He also thanked the Education Authority, the Project Board, the Design Team, the Construction Team, the school community and the parish for their help in delivering such iconic buildings and facilities for the village of Rostrevor.
“I wish the members/students of both buildings every success and that future generations would enjoy the fabulous facilities that had been provided,” Mr Gallagher added.
Speaking at the event Bishop Boyce said that St. Bronagh’s Primary School and St Bronagh’s Youth Club can be “justifiably proud of their achievements to date.”
“The official opening which takes place today is the celebration of the work between the Parish, the School and the Youth Club, under the leadership of Fr. Brendan Kearns and in conjunction with the Department of Education.”
During the event, plaques were unveiled on both sites by Mrs Fiona Hepper, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Department of Education while Bishop Philip Boyce blessed both buildings.
Guests enjoyed the musical performance by the choir of St Bronagh’s Primary School and the tours of both facilities.