A new era began for second and further education in Nenagh with the opening of the E4.4m refurbished and renamed Nenagh College and Nenagh College of Further Education.
The colleges were previously known as Nenagh Vocational School and will come under the new Tipperary Education Training Board that replaced North Tipperary VEC.
And the college got a further boost with the vow by Junior Minister Alan Kelly that he will give his support to get the school’s astroturf project over the line.
“The core value of this school has been very much part of the community and that is why it has had such an influence on the community,” he said.
Describing the opening as a “great day” for the staff, board and students, he paid particular tribute to the part paid by principal Michael McNulty in driving it forward.
Chief executive of TETB Fionnual McKeever said the development meant the town had a modern, well equipped school which would enhance the study experience though its increase in IT equipment, sports facilities and its support for lifelong learning programmes.
Mr McNulty pointed out that the initial concept started in 1995 and he acknowledged the work of his predecessors, the late John Daffy and Margaret Moloney, as well as that of former CEOs Luke Murtagh and David Leahy.
“No student lost a day at school when work was being done and two sets of State examinations were carried out,” he revealed.
Mr McNulty also pointed out that the school always encouraged community access and re-iterated that access will always be available to the community after school and at weekends.
Under deputy principal Ann Melly, Nenagh College of Furtgher Education provides 60 PLC programmes up to FETAC Levels five and six.
The opening was also addressed by Willie Kennedy, TETB chair; Ann Hall, parents rep on the board and fifth-year student Rachel Gleeson.