St. Clements College, on the South Circular Road, is demolishing its old school after 82 years.
The school is run by the Redemptorist Order of Limerick and is on land owned by the Order.
Rector of the Redemptorist College Fr. Seamus Enright told Limerick Voice that the old building is being demolished because it was no longer fit for purpose and the cleared land will be re-purposed as a “car park and a memorial garden”.
Pat Talty has worked in both the old and the new school, having joined St. Clements in 1982 as a teacher for business, accounting and maths. From overseeing school skiing trips, being TY Coordinator and Vice Principal in 2013, to becoming Principal in 2016, Mr Talty has witnessed the school’s evolution. Limerick Voice spoke to Mr. Talty about the old and new building.
Surprisingly, after being in the school for 35 years, Mr. Talty did not find it hard to leave the old building behind. “We were leaving it for a better place, while there were lots of good memories, the thought of going to a newer building with all the modern facilities was very appealing. Anytime you’re used to a structure or landscape throughout your life, to have it gone is different, but again it’s for the better.”
One of the biggest problems with the old school was the lack of facilities. “It was just a basic structure because originally it was a boarding school so changes had been made down through the years to make it a day school. It was a basic structure with classrooms, blackboards and that was it.”
The same cannot be said of the new school. The students academic, sports and artistic achievements line the walls of the corridors. Even walking the halls instills a sense of pride and purpose in its students as no matter which way they look be it to the floor or high above doorways, they are met with motivational quotes. The school is bright, airy and spacious, with floor to ceiling windows and partly glass ceilings a main feature.
“It complies with all the regulations, the corridor size is much bigger, the classrooms are bigger and there is technology in every room in the new school, which would have been very difficult to provide in the old school, the way it was structured. There’s a new gym and specialist rooms, so yes it has moved with the times. The old school was built in 1935, the new school was built in 2008,” the principal added.
The building boasts a library, gym, hall, changing rooms, oratory and fully equipped home economics room and many other specialist rooms. Although the new building facilities are still modern, even now St. Clements are still making improvements to their campus. They have three new Astroturf pitches which allows training and sports to take place year round. St. Clements has also opened an ASD unit in the school in 2016.
Mr Talty believes that no academic or personal successes can be attributed to a building but admits that the new building has created a much more pleasant school atmosphere. “We’re delighted that we moved forward and we’re getting on really well in the new school,” Mr. Talty added.