Celebrations at Grennan College for new school extension
(Fri. 20 May, 2022) – Grennan College had the opportunity today to host its first formal social event in two years when staff, students and educational partners gathered to officially open the Thomastown school’s new €1.4million seven-classroom extension.
The ribbon-cutting honour was undertaken by Cllr. Peter “Chap” Cleere in his capacity as chairperson of Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB). Grennan College is under the auspices of KCETB which is also patron of an additional 12 post-primary schools and operates further education and training provision across the two counties of Kilkenny and Carlow.
Cllr Cleere and Eileen Curtis, the chief executive of KCETB, were welcomed to the event by Seán Óg O’Sullivan, the principal of Grennan College. They were joined by: KCETB Director of Schools, Dr Pauline Egan; Cllr Pat O’Neill, who is chairperson of the board of management; Cllr Deirdre Cullen, a member of the board of management; the chairperson of Grennan College Parents Council, Donna O’Donoghue; and Grennan College Parents Council Officer Bernie Wemyss. Other attendees included Fr Dan Bollard, Grennan College staff and students, and representatives from KCETB Corporate Services who were intrinsically linked to the progress of the project.
The 6,155m² extension at Grennan College comprises a dedicated music room, home economics room, science lab and four additional classrooms built to accommodate the school’s growing student body of over 300 students. It was designed by Brian Dunlop Architects and constructed by Bell Contractors to an energy efficient specification incorporating solar panels.
As part of the project, the existing home economics room was also refurbished as a new science room to form a science block in the main school building.
In his welcome, Principal Sean Og O’Sullivan said, “This is a very positive and welcome addition in the growth and development of Grennan College. We want to provide the best possible resources and facilities for our students and staff where they can learn, work and flourish. This marks the latest – but not the last – stage of growth as we are already embarking on our next exciting project to continue serving our community in the best possible way.”
Speaking at the ceremony, KCETB Chief Executive Eileen Curtis commented, “This is a significant day for the staff and students of Grennan College and for the Thomastown community. This new extension reflects the commitment of KCETB to providing the very best facilities and resources to the students in our care. The project was completed on programme and on budget and is a highly energy efficient building. Buildings come to life when people use them, and school buildings come to life as students grow in their learning. This €1.4million facility will serve Grennan College well into the future as it continues to grow and serve the needs of its students and the local community. We look forward to the nurturing of the skills and talents of budding student musicians, scientists and chefs in these excellent facilities. I wish Mr O’Sullivan, the staff and students many happy days teaching and learning here.
In his address, Cllr Cleere said, “I am proud to open the new building at Grennan College as we celebrate and formally acknowledge the breadth of provision that the new extension provides. It will go a long way in providing all students with equal opportunities to engage with the curriculum and with school life”.
Grennan College students performed a number of songs as part of the ceremony, which was a fitting occasion to mark the near conclusion of the school year.
Established in 1958, the original Thomastown Vocational School comprised three classrooms. A new school, built on the original site, opened in 1986. A major refurbishment followed in 2007 that was officially launched by the then Minister for Education and Science Mary Hanafin TD. The school changed its name to Grennan College in 1996 and further capital development took place in 2015. Grennan College is managed and operated by KCETB.