Inishowen’s first newly-built school in close to a decade is to open in the coming weeks.
Moville’s new-look Gaelscoil Cois Feabhaill is now almost entirely complete, having been under construction for the past fifteen months since January 2022.
The new single-story school, which has a similar footprint to the old St Joseph’s building it has replaced, will consist of four classrooms and a special educational needs room as well as an office, toilets and a staffroom.
There will also be an onsite bus drop-off area and staff car parking along the Ballynally Lane side of the grounds, which comprise extensive new play areas and an AstroTurf pitch.
Chairperson of the board Anthony Doogan explains how the much-anticipated rebuild project, which will result in Gaelscoil Cois Feabhaill’s first ever permanent home, is finally all but finished.
“Each of the subcontractors now have to hand over their certificates of completion to the main contractor, who then has to hand them over to the architect – and we think all that is due to be done imminently.”
“For example the water was connected on Thursday, which means the plumber can now come and certify that the water system is working. The gas system has already been certified.”
“Then there’s the electrical system; the electricians will have to certify that the electrical works are in order. We expect all that to be done this week.”
Anthony is hopeful that pupils and staff can begin the move as soon as Monday, April 24, all going to plan.
“We expect the architect will give us a certificate of completion for us to move in.”
“Obviously there will be a deep clean and a snag list over the next few weeks as well.”
He said the project has helped transform an eyesore – a burnt out shell and wildly overgrown bushes – into a “beautiful new building” for the entire community.
“It will be much more attractive, particularly for people who can now walk to the school, whereas they wouldn’t have walked as far as the GAA pitch.”
Anthony says the kids will be given a tour of their new classrooms ahead of the official opening, while there will also be an open day for parents and the wider community.
“It’ll be great for everyone,” he added. Gaelscoil Cois Feabhail was first established in the year 2000 and currently operates out of the Moville GAA clubhouse, prefabs and grounds in Carnagarve. It has approximately 85 pupils, as well as six teachers and an SNA.
Its new home is the former St Joseph’s NS schoolhouse, a building that had stood since World War II but was gutted by a malicious fire in July 2016, several years after the last pupils had left its classrooms.
Prior to the blaze the Department of Education had approved a €400,000 renovation but it is understood that the total rebuild has significantly surpassed that figure.