Nicker national school aims to tap into Munster spirit for building fund

Donal O’Regan


Donal O’Regan

MUNSTER have built their success from the ground up and Nicker National School is hoping to emulate them.

MUNSTER have built their success from the ground up and Nicker National School is hoping to emulate them.

The school and parents association are running two major fundraising drives in the coming weeks to help improve the school that is 118 years old.

It had its last major upgrade in the early sixties and they also have two prefabs that date back over 40 years.

They have secured a permit to collect outside Thomond Park on Friday, February 24 when Munster take on Cardiff Blues. Around 20 parents and staff will be out in force with buckets.

And on Saturday, March 10 they are holding a scrap collection day from 9am-3pm in the community centre car park as well offering a collection service for large items.

Cathaoirleach Mary Harty, who is also a teacher in Nicker National School, says they have done projections and the school is due to grow by over 20 per cent.

“We have 98 at the moment and projections shows us going to an enrolment of 120 over the next three years, so we have to bring the main building up to modern standards,” said cllr Harty.

They have received funding to replace the two prefabs with two permanent classrooms but Cllr Harty says the school needs more attention than just replacing the two prefabs.

There is a third prefab that needs to be replaced as well.

“The biggest problem is our site is very confined. The main building, which needs to be upgraded, occupies the main part of the site. To that end the Board of Management purchased a field adjacent to the school two years ago. When we do this upgrade it is going to occupy the large proportion of the current site.

“We need to develop the field for parking, playground area etc. One of the biggest challenges is it is four feet lower than the actual school site. It needs to be drained, reseeded, hard surface put on some of it, ramps and steps to gain access to the school - all that is very costly.

“We have been given an allocation to replace the two prefabs. We can’t do half the job and wait for funding to do the rest. Physically due to the nature of the site and because of the layout we can’t do it without developing the field,” said Cllr Harty, who has petitioned the Ministers for Education and Finance to consider allocating extra funding due to their circumstances.

The Cathaoirleach sums up their situation by saying “a much bigger job has to be done on the school and the parents are fully behind it”.

The Grean Dram Group got the ball rolling by donating the profits from their hugely successful performance of Man from la Mancha.

For more information on the bucket collection or the scrap metal collection please contact the school on 061 384761.