Major Development To Take Place At CBS Primary School

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Former CBS Primary School teacher Michael Hayes turns the sod for the new development at the school. Photo by Dermot Crean

CBS Primary Tralee is set to undergo a major transformation after Easter when work commences on the construction of a two-storey building containing four new classrooms, a special educational needs unit and administration area.

The project, which will take place fronting on to Brewery Road,  at one of Tralee’s most famous landmarks will be completed by the summer of 2020 when pupils and teachers entering the new extension can look forward to the most modern teaching and learning environment available.

A follow-up phase of development will see the removal of the prefab classrooms which will be replace by a new fenced play area at the rear of the school where these classrooms are currently located.

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The Principal of CBS Primary Tralee, Denis Coleman, said: “The safety of our children and staff is our number one priority. The school’s original layout is from the 1950s – a time when the majority of children made their way to school on foot or on their bike, without their parents. The world of 60 years ago was far less complicated and the yard, and school, were readily accessible to all. When the work is completed, our school will be far more secure where visitors will be welcomed at the new main entrance by our school secretary and where the, now-enclosed, yard will be more safe and secure than ever before.”

Former CBS Primary School teacher Michael Hayes with current Principal Denis Coleman and Ann Laide whose father was involved with the building of the school back in 1959, joined by pupils at the turning of the sod for the new development at the school. Photo by Dermot Crean

The four new classrooms and special educational needs unit will enable children and staff to work in the most modern setting available and will greatly enhance the teaching and learning environment for all concerned.

The building works will also facilitate the upgrade of our school’s ICT capabilities which will in turn enable staff and children to increase the integration of technology into the teaching and learning throughout the school.

A new, and additional, enclosed play area at the rear of the school will provide enough playground space for every child.

“In just over a year from now, our school will have four new modern classrooms which will provide the best possible accommodation for our Junior and Senior Infants; a new state of art special educational needs unit will provide for those children who need specialised care and attention to help them access school life,” said Denis Coleman.

The Chairman of the Board of Management, Noel Burke, said: “We delighted that the building project has such a strong link with the local area especially as we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the opening of the school which was built by a local construction firm T. O’Mahony & Co in 1959. It is clear that the builders back then had a great sense of pride in the job they were doing. This time around, the consultants for the project are a Tralee-based company, MRG while the lead architect, Liam Waldron, is both a past pupil and a parent of a past pupil who has already shown a keen interest in ensuring the project is of top quality. The main contractor is Evans and Kelliher Ltd from Castlemaine and many of the sub-contractors will be from the locality ensuring that there will be a direct benefit to the local economy.”

The original application for building works began in 2007 but despite a number of delays, the patience of Mr Coleman, the Board of Management, the staff, children and their parents has been rewarded and the much-needed building works are about to begin.

CBS Primary Tralee first opened its doors in 1959 and one of the teachers from school’s early years, Mícheál Hayes, turned the sod on the development in the company of four pupils from the Junior Infants’ classes.

They were joined by Ann Laide, whose father was involved in building the school in the 1950s; Noel Burke, Chairman of the Board of Management; Maggie Griffin, Deputy Principal; Stephen Kelliher and Daniel Evans from Kelliher Construction Ltd; and Mary O’Connell, MRG Consulting Engineers.

Cathy Hayes and Sinead O’Connor, representatives from the Parents’ Association and Fr Tadhg Fitzgerald, Parish Priest from St John’s and Patron’s representative on the Board of Management were also present.

Preliminary building works have already commenced at the front of the school while children, teachers and parents have already been familiarised with the new drop-off and collection procedures.

During construction, a large part of the school will be boarded up and the new main entrance to the school will be via the glass doors looking onto Brewery Road.

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