Call to reopen shut school to aid social distancing

ALMOST three years after it shut its doors for the last time there are now calls for St Eugene’s College in Roslea to be reopened to help accommodate social distancing when students return to school.
While there are still no concrete details on when or how our young people will be returning to their classrooms, the reopening of schools was including in stage three of last week’s five stage plan for lifting the lockdown that was published by the Executive. 
It is expected this will likely be September, and on a phased basis, given comments by the Education Minister Peter Weir the previous week.
Regardless of when it is, many parents and teachers are anxious about how students will be able to socially distance safely when the do return. 
Local Cllr Sheamus Greene believes St Eugene’s College holds a  solution to the problem, in the east of the county at least.
Cllr Greene has called on the Department of Education and the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) to consider reopening the Roslea secondary school, which closed in June 2017 after more than half a century providing education to young people in the area. He said the now empty building could take students from St Kevin’s College in Lisnaskea.
“When St Eugene’s Roslea amalgamated with St Comhghall’s Lisnaskea, creating St Kevin’s, the new college operated over two campus for a time,” he said.
“I am calling on the CCMS and the Department of Education to look into reverting back to running St Kevin’s on a two campus model come September.”
Cllr Greene added: “It seems a perfect solution to help with the safety of both staff and pupils in the present circumstances we find ourselves in.
“The St Kevin’s building in Lisnaskea isn’t big enough at the best of times for the number of pupils looking to enrol in the very successful College
“The former St Eugene’s building in Roslea is sitting available and should be seen as an asset to all.
“I am requesting that a survey takes place on the St Eugene’s building to see if it can be safely used again.”

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