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March 01, 2012

Gym Will Fix It for St. Conleth's

building-launch As work officially began in January on Newbridge Primary Care Centre at the site of St. Conleth’s Community College the staff and pupils are gearing themselves up for the newest addition in the development, a purpose built, 990 square metre gymnasium and sports hall.

As part of the contract to acquire the site, Clarington Primary Care has committed to constructing the sports hall and gymnasium at no cost to the school or to Kildare VEC.  It is hoped the gym will be completed by the end of 2012.  The full campus will also include offices and training rooms for Kildare VEC’s Further Education Department.

St. Conleth’s is the recognised Post Leaving Certificate Centre for County Kildare VEC and the school already has a very popular Sports and Recreation course. The school also provides many fitness and sport related courses under the Adult Education Programme. The new gymnasium will open up opportunities for the further development of these areas of education.

Mary Lonergan, Principal of St. Conleth’s is delighted that the school will finally have its own, purpose built, sports facility.  “St. Conleth’s has enjoyed an excellent location in the centre of Newbridge since 1979, a position that was greatly enhanced when the Dominican Order gifted an adjacent field to the school for a nominal sum. The field was developed into a GAA pitch on the school grounds in the early nineties. St. Conleth’s however, has been seriously disadvantaged in its effort to provide sporting facilities comparable to other schools in the area due to the absence of a much sought after gymnasium. To compensate for this the school has, over the years, with the financial assistance of the Department of Education and Skills, taken full advantage of the nearby Sports Centre run by Kildare County Council. However, the construction of the new Gymnasium will benefit the school enormously and students will finally be able to enjoy fantastic sporting facilities on site. The gym will greatly enhance school life as it will be an area where school shows and events can take place.  It will also be used to host school and state exams and school assembly.”

The new gymnasium and sports hall has been designed by MCOH Architects and will be built by Kilcock based contractors, Sammon Contracting.  The ground floor will incorporate a full sized sports hall of approximately 590 square metres, changing areas, equipment storage areas, administrative offices and storage while a mezzanine area above will be the location for weights, cardio equipment and bench presses.   This design will allow for greater usage of the area, one class can use the larger sports hall for indoor soccer or basketball while another can work out above.  Ross McNamara (Project Architect) of MCOH Architects said, “It is essential that the space can be utilised for many uses so that it can meet the ever changing needs and demands of a growing school.  This gymnasium and sports hall has been designed to the highest possible specifications incorporating the latest Department of Education & Science recommendations. Not only will this provide a Gym and Sports Hall for the pupils but will also incorporate new changing facilities and showers for those using the adjacent pitches”.

School Captain, Conor Mulpeter and Vice Captain, Vanessa Ward said, “The students here are really excited about the new gym. For years we have been the only Second Level school in Newbridge not to have its own Sports Hall. Of course we have always been able to use all the facilities across the road at Newbridge Sports Centre but now we won’t have to book a space in advance. We will finally have a place for concerts, shows and sporting events and we won’t even have to go outside the school gate. Also, we are very pleased that the Student Council are introducing a new P.E. tracksuit to coincide with the new gym. It’s going to be brilliant, we can’t wait!”