Holy Rosary College, Mountbellew (HRC) is celebrating 50 years of co-education with the official opening of a €6 million extension and refurbishment on Friday 4 March.
The opening ceremony was performed by former Principal, Sr. Dympna Stack, whose Congregation, The Sisters of Christian Retreat, took over the school in September 1965. That year Sr. Dympna enrolled 27 boys who joined 52 girls in the former Dower House of the Grattan – Bellew estate, which had housed an all-girls school since 1944. Today HRC has over 560 students.
The new building includes specially designed rooms for Art, Music, Business and Religion, a Language/Multimedia Lab, two Woodwork/Construction Studies Rooms, four Science Labs, two Home Economics rooms, a Library, and six new general classrooms.
A new Sports Hall with Fitness Suite and Stage has also been built and outdoor sports facilities have been developed. A large Assembly Hall with Canteen is a central feature of the new building, overlooking a courtyard garden with an Art installation by Athenry sculptor, Donnacha Cahill, funded by the Per Cent for Art Scheme.
The Design Team was OKM Architects, Sligo; Tobin Engineers, Galway; Heavey Kenny M&E Consultants, Galway and McCauls Quantity Surveyors, Sligo.
HRC is especially proud that so many of its former students were involved in the building project: the Main Contractor, Patrick Gardiner, MD of Coolsivna Construction, Mountbellew; Project Engineers, Aidan Doyle and Kerril Jones from Tobins, Galway; Electrical Contractor, Sean Gavin, Blocklaying Contractor, Aidan Mannion, Foundations Contractor, Colm Finnerty and Clerk of Works, John Crehan are all past pupils.
A history of Holy Rosary College 1965 – 2015 by former HRC teacher, Dr. Gabriel O’Connor was also launched on Friday by Cork Independent MD Jarlath Feeney, a past pupil and former Chairperson of the Board of Management. The book is available from the school office.
Since 2007, HRC is under the trusteeship of CEIST. The extension and refurbishment of HRC was funded by the Government’s Investment in Infrastructure and Jobs Programme 2013. The new stage and outdoor sports facilities are being funded by the HRC Parents’ Association.