Results of survey into uses of old school at Ardclough

Ardclough Community Council have completed a survey of possible uses of the old primary school, which will become available to the community when students move into the newly completed Scoil Áine Naofa.

With the co-operation of Kildare diocese and the school management, the opportunity is to have a group of local trustees to take the building in hand and see whether it can be operated for the local community.

A survey of local attitudes completed by Niall Waters has already generated over 100 suggestions for facilities which are not provided by existing community facilities such as the GAA club..

His research identified five themes which “were deemed both needed and feasible:”

  • –education, leisure and hobby classes
  • –playground and other provision for small children
  • –public health nurse-type services
  • –Community garden/park
  • –Activities and provision for young people

According to Mr Waters, the suggestions made revolved around the following broad themes:

  • –adult and further education/training classes
  • –community/park garden including playground
  • –community centre, ‘drop in’ centre
  • –facilities to serve the more vulnerable members of the community such as older persons
  • –pre/playschool and/or mother and toddlers groups
  • –indoor activities for the community such as meetings

Residents suggested the need for something for small children with particular reference to a playground, some form of localised health services e.g. public health nurse, a community garden or park, and one in three of the responding households indicated a preference for outdoor or indoor sports.

The survey had a response rate of 25pc, and suggestions broke down into the following categories:

  • 72pc Adult and Further Education/Training
  • (75pc indicated preference for nights and 58pc for days)
  • 58pc Childcare/Crèche type provision
  • 50pc Arts/Drama,
  • 47pc Indoor Recreation,
  • 46pc Social Services provision,
  • 44pc Culture/Heritage
  • 44pc outdoor recreation
  • 37pc outdoor sports
  • 33pc indoor sports
  • 25pc other

The fabric of the school, which was constructed in 1948, was found to be “generally in good condition.” Any defects noted were described as “typical defects for a structure of its type and age.”

Mr Waters suggested it would be possible to remove an existing wall “allowing the two classroom spaces to be united as a single large space.”

The other buildings were described as “spatially restricted” and “an inflexible ancillary element is less easy to adapt and modify.”

Mr Waters noted that “one or two of those interviewed were negative about the use of St. Anne’s and felt it would result in its falling into disrepair. It should be acknowledged that this very point is one of the motivations of ACC in looking to utilise St. Anne’s for community use and hence the commissioning of the present research.”

A copy of the report is available to download, in PDF formatt, by clicking here: The Future Community Use of St. Anne’s National School 17-12

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