St. Brigid’s College, Callan - contract signed for €5 million refurbishment and extension

Pat Power Principal. Kay Morrissey, John Holohan, Peter Bluett, (back row l-r) Alan Guildea, Paul Nolan, John Bambrick and Nigel Cusack at the signing of the contract for the building of an extension and renovation of St Brigid's College in Callan. Photo: Pat Moore.
St. Brigid’s College Callan is delighted that a major refurbishment and extension project has commenced at the school in June 2015, following the completion of the state exams. The main contractor will be Kilkenny-based Ormonde Construction. This significant project has a capital budget in excess of €5 million and is expected to provide a much needed boost to the local economy.

St. Brigid’s College Callan is delighted that a major refurbishment and extension project has commenced at the school in June 2015, following the completion of the state exams. The main contractor will be Kilkenny-based Ormonde Construction. This significant project has a capital budget in excess of €5 million and is expected to provide a much needed boost to the local economy.

The commencement of construction work is a very welcome and exciting milestone for all of our school community. The development, which includes refurbishment and remodelling of the existing buildings and a substantial new-build extension, will provide a high-quality teaching and learning environment for the 21st Century. The old Scoil Mhuire National School – dating from 1890 and known as ‘The Extension’ to recent generations – will be restored in line with best conservation practice and will provide a tangible link to the past.

Key features of the project will include a three-storey classroom extension, to include specialist rooms, on the site of the existing single-storey general purpose School Hall; the provision of a new entrance area, classrooms, staff room and office facilities within the “Scoil Mhuire” national school; and the creation of a new General Purpose Area, at the interface between the old Scoil Mhuire and the main school building. The classrooms that are to be retained will be fully refurbished. The completed project will provide a range of specialist rooms including science laboratories, art rooms, a library, a maths room, and a business and commerce room.

An important feature of this innovative project will be the creation of new communal and social space – including a landscaped forecourt to the old Scoil Mhuire; the General Purpose Area, at the heart of the school; a landscaped central courtyard; together with smaller break-out spaces throughout the school.

St. Brigid’s will remain in use throughout the project, with the work to be phased to minimise disruption to the school. The first phase will include the renovation of the old Scoil Mhuire and the creation of a central General Purpose Area, to be completed in Spring 2016. The balance of the work is scheduled for completion in late-2016.

The design team, which is led by Michael O’Boyle, conservation architect, and Peter Bluett project architect of Kilkenny-based Bluett & O’Donoghue Architects, includes Hayes Higgins Partnership building services engineers and EDPM civil structural engineers, both from Kilkenny; Carron Walsh quantity surveyors, from Waterford; and Malone Engineering Services, as health and safety specialists. This team has worked closely with the Board of Management to develop an exciting and imaginative design, which carefully balances the old and the new.

The Principal Mr. Power expressed delight at the impending start of construction:: “We have been working hard for the last number of years to secure funding to improve the facilities of our school. We have an excellent design team led by Bluett & O’Donoghue Architects with whom the building subcommittee composed of John Bambrick (BOM) and Kay Morrissey chairperson (BOM) and myself have worked very closely to meet our schools needs and provide as good a learning and teaching environment as possible for our students and teachers. We will have a completely refurbished school within 18 months that will afford our girls the very best educational opportunities and the best and most up to date 21st century facilities”.