Ardee Community School reopened to students this week for the 2017/18 academic year and while work continues apace on the brand new school building on site, the current student body are having to get used to a new look interior of the old school building.
During the summer, builders and workmen have crammed months worth of work into just nine weeks. In between the Leaving Cert finishing up in late June and the end of August, the contractors have got to work on installing new ceiling tiles across the entire building, installing new floors – a job still being completed – and even creating new spaces and walkways, namely in the old yellow corridor. The colour scheme is out the window, now its simply known as Corridor 1. New colour coded doors brighten up the place too.
A spiffy new paint job has created a light and spacious feel in the corridors, the canteen area has been renovated – and how just awaits new furniture – while more substantial work includes new lighting systems, heating upgrades, a new security system and more. In parts, it looks unrecognisable from just months ago. Outside, work is being undertaken on car parking areas while footpaths have been vastly improved and the vehicle lanes have been widened for ease of access for both cars and buses.
With in excess of 170 new first year pupils arriving this year, Ardee Community School continues to grow apace. It’s not that long ago that annual new intakes were around the 100 mark. Tony Corcoran, who has been joined by Pauline Duffy as the school’s new Deputy Prinicipal this year, told ThisIsArdee.ie that while he expects the rise to level out eventually, the school is well on course to soon increase it’s attendance to 900. That’s what makes their new build so important.
The new building – which will house brand new and state of the art construction, design and laboratory areas, as well as a dedicated autisitc unit – is due to be completed by April 2018. Corcoran says as soon as the building is ready, pupils and classes will be moved in. A modern building in keeping with other new schools around the country, impressive plans show how the two-floor new building under construction will look out onto the brand new sports pitch, laid by pitch specialists Prunty Pitches and almost ready for use.
Back at the existing building, as well as finishing new floors in mall and some classroom areas, new furniture is on the way, which will complete the new look areas such as the canteen. On our visit to the school on Friday afternoon, we took a look around and Adrian Crawley brought his camera with him.