THE Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, has officially opened a new â‚¬3m extension at JFK Memorial School on the Ennis Road.
The new school building, designed by award winning architects Healy & Partners and built by Rattiganâ€™s, has been in the planning for the past 15 years. It consists of 11 class rooms over two stories, adding a sports gym, school reception and extensive library to the schoolâ€™s facilities.
The new school library, Leabharlainn Oâ€™Riada, has been dedicated to outgoing principal Bill Reidy who will retire at the end of this month having spent his entire teaching career of 45 years in JFK boys school.
Col Colm Doyle, the chairperson of the board of management at the school. recalled how it was founded in 1964 and was named after the American President John F. Kennedy, who visited Limerick the previous year. Col Doyle said it behoves the school to help the pupils realise their full potential in the years ahead, â€œto become responsible and dependable citizens of this State.â€
Speaking at the opening of a new â‚¬3m school building Mr Noonan claimed the pupils are â€œsheltered from the storm of the recession until things become good again.â€
In his address he said: â€œBy the time theyâ€™re out in the wider world looking for jobs this country will have changed dramatically. We will be back again in our rightful position as a thriving country.â€
The former teacher, whose wife and father were also teachers, said it is his ambition that â€œthis great city will be rebuilt again, and that the regeneration project will go from the suburbs to the city centre.â€
He noted that expansion plans are also underway at the University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College and Limerick Institute of Technology.
â€œIt is not a question of waiting for the economy to recover, we have to continue to rebuild and invest,â€ he said.