As student numbers soar at Claregalway’s Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, construction started on the first purpose-built section of the school building of 23 new classrooms on the campus started last Monday week and with rapid progress on the walls, the building will be ready for students to move in by next October.
Staff and students have been amazed at how quickly the workers, from building firm Stewarts, have been progressing with the building which is in front of the entrance to the current school.
“We are delighted and pleasantly surprised by the speed at which the new building is progressing and as it is on a separate section of the site is is causing no disruption to our current classes, says teacher Eoin Ó Ceallaigh.
This is phase two of the development: it will also have a new sports hall as well as the extra classrooms. The third phase will move the college closer to a new entrance planned for beside Claregalway Community Centre, with new pitches in an area closer to the road. The latter will be a welcome addition as the school continues to progress on the sports fields in various disciplines.
Last week saw a team of girls winning the FAI All-Ireland Final in soccer (Minor) when they beat Moville from Donegal in the national decider played in Sligo.
The Claregalway college has made massive strides since it first opened its doors at the end of August 2013 with 168 students. Numbers have now reached over 600.
The additional classrooms in October will mean that social space in the existing building, which was soon converted to temporary classrooms to deal with the huge numbers attending, will no longer be needed for that purpose.
The new classrooms will have continuity with the current building as they will be painted in the same bright colours of yellows, greens and pinks that have given a very modern feel to the existing school.
Since it opened it has always looked like it was designed for educational purposes in the first instance and not as an industrial unit at Claregalway Corporate Park where it is located.
“Being a modern bright building with lots of space has become one of the hallmarks of our school since it opened almost three years ago.
“We are all glad that will continue as we expand and our numbers continue to grow,” said principal Alan Mongey.