AS one chapter in the long history of
Ballymacrickett Primary School in Glenavy draws to a close an
even more exciting one is about to begin.
November 27 will see the opening of the new £3.5m premises at
Scroggy Road for the 285 pupils.
Principal Daniel Mulholland described the
event as an 'exciting time' for the parish, staff and of course
The building of the new school was announced
by the then minister Barry Gardiner in 2002.
The school was growing increasingly popular
as the population grew in Glenavy and was being forced to use
Mr Mulholland described the new building as a
facility that will serve not just the children but the whole
community of Glenavy and Killead as well. It is expected to
serve as a centre for the community to hold evening meetings and
"We are a happy school which is down to the
people and the great community spirit within the school," he
As excited as we are in moving into the new
facility we are also sad to be closing the doors of another
school which has been a big part of many people's lives.
"That is why we wanted to close on events
which allow many to share memories and thoughts of No 44 Scroggy
present building opened in 1937 as a three classroomed school to
replace Ballymacrickett National School which had been there
since 1856. An extension of six classrooms and a hall was added
To mark the opening of the new school there
will be two events. One will offer an opportunity for members of
the parish to go down memory lane on Sunday November 16 at
12.30pm. There will be a display showing the changes of the
school throughout the decades. Tea and refreshements will be
There will also be an evening event for
former members of staff, governors and past principals on
Tuesday November 11.
It is expected that the move will take three
days with the official switch taking place on Thursday November
The new school is 2000 square metres with 14
classrooms, a library, medical room, a multi purpose hall and a
canteen. There is also a one classroom nursery. It is expected
that extra child care provision will be provided to facilitate
Mr Mulholland, who was vice principal for ten
years before he became principal of the school in 2007, has
vivid memories of the old school - he is
also a former pupil.
He said he was confident the new premises
would provide the children with as many happy memories as he had
as a former pupil.
"We put out a request for past pupils to
provide us with stories and samples of work and have received
many very interesting articles," he said. "I have many happy
memories of my time as a child in Ballymacrickett. I remember
the great community spirit that existed — just as it does today.
It is the relationships between staff, pupils and parents that
help make our school a happy place."
Ballymacrickett Primary School get
ready for the Christmas play with
the then principal Mr Michael
Fitzpatrick 11950's) prior to the
school's annual Christmas play