A MAJOR renovation and refurbishment at Tempo Primary School is now complete to coincide with the school’s 40th anniversary.
The £320,000 revamp, which began in September 2012 has seen the school transformed as principal Ruth Wilson explained.
“It has provided a new entrance hall, new offices for the secretary and principals and staff toilets. Two key stage 2 classrooms have also been extended in size and our resource room was renovated.”
Additionally there has been an outdoor covered area constructed to allow the children to do activities outside in wet weather, while disabled access has been improved along with the upgrade of both the fire and security systems. The purchasing department of the Western Eduation and Library Board, which funded the project (WELB) has also improved furniture and storage in the Key Stage 1 classroom.
Mrs Wilson believes the pupil experience has been massively improved due to the substantial work that has taken place.
“Obviously it has enhanced the school, the facilities and the classrooms are bright and airy. Our disabled access wasn’t adequate, while fire and security needed upgrading. The new learning environment is much more stimulating and bright and that will enhance the children’s ability to learn in well resourced, comfortable surroundings. There is much more freedom, more windows and it is generally more attractive for a child to learn.”
It is not only the renovation which is a cause for celebration, as the school is also celebrating their 40 year anniversary, albeit a year late.
“The school opened on Monday September 4, 1972, but last year with the building work we couldn’t celebrate it,” explained Ruth.
Back in 1972 Mr John Kilpatrick was principal and 128 pupils attended the school, the result of the closure of four rural primary schools in Clabby, Carrowkeel, Coolrakelly and Tempo. At that stage there were along Mr Kilpatrick, three full time teachers.
Now the school has 93 pupils and Ruth sees the massive investment in the school as a real ‘source of encouragement’.
“It shows the board has faith in education at Tempo, which is massive, especially considering the current uncertainty around education all across Northern Ireland, not just in Fermanagh.”
The official opening takes place on October 3 at 10am in the school. WELB Chief Executive Barry Mulholland will open the school and there will be a number of speeches and performances from the shared education brass band and singing from Tempo pupils. In the evening from 3.30pm to 7pm the school will be open to allow the community to see the new surroundings, while on display will be memorabilia of the school throughout the years and activities for the children.
All members of the student population through a generous donation from the Parent Teacher Support Group will also travel up in December to the Waterfront Hall to watch the Christmas pantomime Little Red Riding Hood.
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