End of an era as old St Mary’s Primary building comes down

The old classrooms at St Mary's PS are gutted and ready for demolition.
The old classrooms at St Mary's PS are gutted and ready for demolition.

Bulldozers have been busy at the old St Mary’s Primary School and as the demolition works begin vice principal Mr Jim Martin has said it is a ‘relief’ to see the project commence.

Glassgiven Contracts’ started work on Monday January 18 and are working towards a completion date for the new school of May 2017.

While photos of the old classrooms lying gutted and ready for demolition have sparked a feeling of sentimentality for some, Mr Martin said that for him the prevailing feeling was relief.

“The proposals for a new school were first put forward in 2004 and that was the starting point of the project to replace the school,” he said.

“We are now 12 years further on, so it’s good to have arrived at this point.

“It’s more of a relief than anything that work has started and it is great to see things moving.”

Temporary mobile accommodation was erected on the St Patrick’s site and St Mary’s moved to their temporary school in April 2015.

“We moved out of the old school almost a year ago and at times we wondered what we had moved for as nothing had happened, so this is great to see,” he added.

The Department of Education announced an allocation of £5.2 million for the St Mary’s new school building project in June 2012.

Work is projected to last 66 weeks and staff are hoping they will occupy the new school during the summer of 2017 ready for the start of the 2017 academic year.