On Thursday 8th September, Malahide Portmarnock Educate Together Secondary welcomed students and staff into their state-of-the-art new school building. The new school building is being delivered in two phases. Phase 1 of the new school building was handed over on Friday 2nd September, with phase 2 now due to go to tender shortly.
This week marks an exciting chapter in the school’s journey, as it will be the culmination of a five-year wait for a permanent building. The school opened in 2018 in temporary premises in Swords Enterprise Park, on the Feltrim Road, Drinan. The school now accommodates students up to 5th year. Working with temporary arrangements over the first four years restricted the growth of the school as spaces were limited to two classes per year group. This meant that not all students seeking to enroll could be accommodated. However, this year, the school has welcomed six new classes of first years. The new school building will accommodate over 1,000 secondary school students by the year 2028.
Phase 1 of the new school building consists of 13 specialist rooms, community space, outdoor space, 7 offices and 23 main classrooms. Included are four Science labs, one Technology room, one DCG room, two Home Economics rooms, one Textile room, one Art room, two Music rooms, Meditation Room, Autism Class, Support Education Class. There is also a courtyard that includes a sensory space.
Phase 2 will include an Engineering Suite, Materials Technology Wood, a second Art room, Media Space and state-of-the art Sports Hall with fitness suite and changing rooms.
The students, staff and community of Malahide Portmarnock Educate Together Secondary School are delighted to be moving into their new permanent building and look forward to the completion of the entire school and meeting the demands of enrolment in the growing catchment area.
Speaking in the school’s opening week, principal Aoife Kelly-Gibson said:
We are so delighted with our new building. What an achievement by everyone involved. MPETSS school community deserves a beautiful space where our learning and teaching journey can continue. We look forward to making this our own.
As Principal, I am of course, extremely proud of what we have achieved here. The team of Teachers, SNAs, Students, Admin staff, Caretaker, Management, Parents and Board of Management, is extraordinary. We managed to keep our school vibrant and happy through our time in prefabs and working through the myriad of issues that arose there. The staff pulled off a feat with our online classes during Covid and on our return to ‘in-person’ Learning and Teaching, the collaboration in our Learning Community, grew from strength to strength.
The students are what keep us going. When we welcomed them all into the building last Thursday, it was with a huge sense of excitement. As educators, we are excited to have their input as we start to develop the spaces around the school and build on our ethos. Everything we have worked for is coming into being.
As an Educate Together school, our values and ethos are the foundation of our work, and these will continue to enhance our educational journey for all.
Wishing the school well on their next phase, Educate Together CEO, Emer Nowlan said: “This impressive building will enable Malahide Portmarnock ETSS to grow to respond to the increasing demand for Educate Together secondary education in the area. Congratulations are due to this welcoming school community for their many achievements while in temporary accommodation. We wish them well in this next phase, and look forward to seeing these students soar with the added benefit of state-of-the art technical and other facilities.
Now that the school has moved into its permanent home, the focus will shift to completing the second phase of the building.
Given the popularity of this school with local families, it is crucially important that the second phase of the building is delivered as soon as possible.”