Tuesday 16th December 2014
Monday December 15th was a mile stone in the life of Mercy Mounthawk as we turned the sod for the new extension to the school. Since we opened on this site in 2001, our facilities, which serve a school population of 1,200 have included a set of prefabs which were necessary for classroom accommodation. This is the day that we began the countdown to their departure.
Work has commenced on a 1.7 million project to improve and develop the facilities of the school. Our new extension will have 7 classrooms, 4 resource rooms, an extended canteen space which will double as a performance space, and a new toilet block.
This extension will provide improved facilities so that the school will be in a much better position to embrace the modern developments that are coming down the educational track. Our school has invested a lot of time and energy and creativity in the arts since our inception and we are intent on being able to stage our own productions in Mercy Mounthawk in the future.
This extension has been made possible through the allocation of a devolved grant from the Department of Education. We are very thankful to our local politicians and especially Minister Deenihan for their support in delivering this development. Indeed we are delighted that the Minister was able to perform the sod-turning ceremony.
We also welcomed the CEO of our Education trust – CEIST, Dr. Marie Griffin, herself a Tralee native. Present also were members of the Mercy congregation – we were delighted to welcome back Sr. Nora Flynn a member of the Mercy Leadership team and a past member of staff at Mercy Tralee.
However, the realisation of this project has been made possible through the reliable support of the parents – through very considerable and ongoing fundraising. We undertook an ambitious plan to raise €250,000 to provide for the extension to the canteen space and with the support of the parents and the local community we are half way through to that target goal.
‘Today is an opportunity to thank our parents for their constant and ongoing support’, said Mr O’Roarke. This extension will be a testament to the will and determination of the local school community in partnership with the Department of Education in realising their vision of better facilities for our students at Mercy Mounthawk.
While the project is progressing over the next year, it will of course be a very important injection of capital into the Tralee area with spin-offs to the local economy. The design team is led by Liam Waldron and Cathal Sheehy from MRG consulting in Tralee and the contract has been won by Evans and Kelliher from Milltown.