PREPARATIONS are intensifying for the amalgamation of two schools in Limerick city, but no decision has been taken about what will become of the Salesians school building when it closes.
Sr Mary Doran of the Salesian Sisters said they will have to begin consultations of what will happen to the building when it closes in September 2016, when the secondary school will merge with St Nessan’s to become the new Thomond Community College. She could not say at this time on whether the intention is to sell it but she said the Order will be “very sad” to see it close.
“The important thing for us is that something of it (the Salesians) is going to live on. Our hope is that through the amalgamation our ethos will become part of something bigger,” she said.
It will be particularly poignant as this year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Salesians Secondary School. While the secondary school at Fernbank on the North Circular Road will close, the infant and primary school will remain open. It is anticipated that no teaching posts will be lost as a result of the closure. The new school - based at St Nessan’s current complex - will have a capacity for 750 students.
Bernadette Cullen, of the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, has been working with the steering group since the announcement of the amalgamation in 2013.
“We’ve been working on the name of the new school, the uniform, the logo, so there’s been a huge amount of involvement from parents, staff and pupils of both schools, and it hasbeen a very positive process to date,” she said.
Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan said: “In coming together to create Thomond Community College, Salesian’s and St Nessan’s are combining their collective strengths to create a vibrant and dynamic new second level entity for Limerick.
“The sum of all parts of both these two schools will create a real platform for students who attend here to go one to great things. Schools are about helping to form young people in an educational, social and civic sense for the future.
“The best we can do is give them the best possible start and the exciting vision and sense of innovation set out for Thomond Community confirms for me that students attending here will get exactly that.”
The curriculum experience that was available in both of the schools will continue to be on offer to students in the new school, resulting in a broader curricular.
The logo was designed by St Nessan’s student Sabina Tomé, who was presented with an award for her creation.