Ballymahon school needs new heating system
by Denise Canavan
A completely new heating system is required for St Matthew's NS after the heating system failed last week. Classes not being taught in the school prefabs are now being taught in other locations around Ballymahon.
The Emergency Works section of the Department of Education has estimated that the ordering and installation may take up to four weeks. Speaking about the long awaited construction of the new school Mr Farrell said, "Obviously it's not ideal to be spending money on the old school when we're so close to the start of the new school's construction, so a suggestion has been put to the Department. They're looking at using a similar sized boiler so that it might be used for the new school when the installation there comes about - the main block of the new school should require a system of around about the same size as the old one."
He continued, "Last November 12 months we were called in to go ahead to the next stage - to re-price everything at new rates, which are between 23 and 27 per cent lower than the original costs quoted. We are now at the stage where we have compiled a shortlist of contractors who have expressed an interest in the job and we're waiting on one final piece of the puzzle to be put in place before we can go ahead."
Speaking to the Leader, Chairman of the St Matthew's National School Board of Management Fr Padraig McGowan expressed gratitude on behalf of the parish and the board of management of the school for the cooperation of Rory Gallagher at Bridgeways Resource Centre at the Dean Egan and indeed everyone who is being inconvenienced due to the change.
"I'm aware that some programmes at the resource centre are being put on hold in order to accommodate the classes and we're very grateful for that," he said. "We're also grateful to all of the parents and indeed to the scouts who helped with the move and clear out in the Den and the Dean Egan over the course of last weekend. It's been a very positive response from the community."
The Scouts' Den building has not been utilised in an educational capacity since 1984. Interestingly, the Dean Egan Library was used as an interim school for six years from 1978 while the community waited for the St Colmcille Boys School to be built.
With 19 staff in total, St Matthew's National school has nine mainstream teachers at its disposal - as well as an additional support education teacher for each class all of whom will be instrumental in the settling in phase at the new locations.
"The safety of the children is paramount," said Mr Farrell, "so the traffic warden is on duty earlier and staying later in order to accommodate children crossing the street to the new locations. Teachers and volunteer parents will also be on hand to ensure the transfer is safe and smooth."