On Friday 13 February 2015 the Hansfield Educate Together Secondary School (Hansfield ETSS) community, led by Principal Bernie Judge, turned the first sod on the site of their new second-level school in Ongar, Dublin 15.
Hansfield ETSS is the first post-primary school under the direct patronage of Educate Together, and is the result of many years of campaigning, research and development on behalf of the local community, committed politicians and Educate Together staff.
Attending the sod turning event were the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton; Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills, Sean Ã Foghlú ; CEO of Educate Together, Paul Rowe; and members of the school community, and other local representatives and guests also joined us for a school visit after the sod-turning.
The construction contract has been awarded to Ganson Civil and Engineering Contractors, and the building is due for completion in April 2016. In the interim, the school is housed on the upper floor of Hansfield Educate Together National School, which has been adapted to provide the necessary specialist rooms and equipment.
Hansfield ETSS will be a state-of-the-art building with flexible learning spaces, bright, well-equipped specialist classrooms, labs, sports areas, social spaces for students, and areas for extra curricular activities. The school will also be fully WiFi enabled, allowing information and communications technology to be fully integrated into the learning environment.
Principal Bernie Judge said “It’s wonderful that today we have taken the first step towards building our new school, which will eventually accommodate 1,000 eager young people. The cutting-edge design of the building will allow students to engage in an integrated and project-based approach to learning. This will allow them to ask questions, investigate and draw conclusions as they develop important skills such as leadership and problem-solving”.
Speaking at the event, Seán Ã Foghlú, Secretary General said: "after many years of working with the local authority and Educate Together, it is a real privilege to visit the first Educate Together secondary school in Hansfield, and to see the building getting under way and the school fulfilling its potential.”