Minister Ring opens “first of its kind” Community Campus in Carrickphierish, Waterford

Published 9 March 2018

€15 million campus includes two new schools, new library, community sports hall and largest teacher resource centre in Ireland

Mr Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, today (9 March 2018) officially opened a new state-of-the-art library and Community Campus in Carrickphierish, Waterford City.

Recognising the importance of the Campus for Waterford City and its significance for the surrounding areas, the Minister said: “This magnificent state-of-the-art new Community Campus facility is unique in that it is an innovative partnership approach to the provision of a multi-use community facility and is the first of its kind in Ireland.”

The Campus, which includes a 1,247sqm modern Library, a Community Sports Hall, and two schools – Gaelscoil na nDeise and Waterford Educate Together National School – was developed as a result of a significant investment by the State of almost €15 million.

As well as being developed as the main community facility in the Carrickphierish area of the city, the Library, which was funded by Waterford County Council, also provides services to the broader city and county.  The campus also includes a dedicated Teachers’ Resource Centre, the largest in the country, with over 20,000 books, classroom support materials, and specialist educational resources.

The Minister acknowledged that “delivering all this – a modern library, a Sports Hall and two schools – Gaelscoil na nDeise and Waterford Educate Together National School; was no easy task and could not have happened without the commitment and support of the local community. It hasn’t gone unnoticed the great work and investment that Waterford City and County Council has put in to this Campus.”

The Minister also confirmed that he intends to launch a new Strategy for Public Libraries in the coming weeks. The ambitious Strategy aims to develop high-tech libraries that are attractive and vibrant multi-functional spaces.

Minister Ring said: “Waterford is one of four cities which is anticipated to grow by 50-60% under Project Ireland 2040, the Government’s long-term planning and investment strategy which was launched last month. This campus on the northern outskirts of the city will no doubt be utilised to the full as the city grows and expands. The community campus approach points the way for how we invest in and support communities and will, I believe, benefit the local community for many years to come.”

Minister John Halligan TD, the Waterford-based Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, said: “Ten years ago, as the country was spiralling into financial crisis, a campus of this stature and expanse must have seemed like a pipe dream. Both schools, having been founded thanks to the tireless work of visionary parents, teachers and principals, have endured many long and challenging years in temporary accommodation. The official opening marks a new era of hope and ambition for the Carrickphierish community and for Waterford as a whole.

“The synergy and collaboration between Waterford City Council and the Department of Education and Skills in completing this project augurs well for everybody’s future. This campus is proof of what can be achieved when we work for common goals.”