Bunscoil Rinn an Chabhlaigh

Rushbrooke, Cobh, Co. Cork

History

Rushbrooke NS was founded by the Mercy Sisters in 1860 on the grounds of Rushbrooke Convent, adjacent to the Convent Farm.  At that time it was located on a quiet country road and consisted of a 2 classroom building.

The school began to expand in the early 1950’s and the original school was knocked and a new 3 classroom school built. It was expanded by two classrooms in 1960 and in 1970 the first Pre-fab was added.  In 1979 a new 6 extension was added which consisted of classrooms, a PE Hall, Staff Room, 2 Multi-purpose rooms and an office.  There were 14 Teachers and 360 children in the school in 1997.

The local population began to grow rapidly following a building boom in the Rushbrooke area in the early 2000s.  Today there are 43 teachers, 13 Ancilliary Staff (Secretary, Caretaker and 11 SNAs) to meet the needs of 706 children.

The old school is no longer fully fit for purpose and is a very inefficient building.  The cost of repairs to the fabric and services of the 1950s and 1980s building is a drain on BOM resources.  In addition, there are now 19 Pre-fabs in the school.  These pre-fabs accommodate more children than the “solid” building.  The pre-fabs are, in the main, very inefficient buildings and are particularly costly to heat in the winter.  Some have to be abandoned in very cold weather.  13 of the 25 Mainstream Classes are housed in Pre-fabs (one is currently in the GP Room, awaiting the installation of our final pre-fab).  None of the 13 Support Teachers are accommodated in proper SET rooms.  2 are in a converted Multi-purpose room, 4 are in converted toilets / cloakrooms and the other 7 are in pre-fabs.  The 3 ASD Classes are accommodated in pre-fabs.  The Deputy Principal’s Office is a converted cloakroom.

The DES was asked by the BOM to consider providing a new school in 1999.  A Design Team was appointed in 2000 and plans were drawn up for a 7 classroom extension.  This was never built and new plans were ordered in 2002 for a larger extension.  Further reconsideration was made by the DES in 2005 and a new set of extension and refurbishment of the existing 1980s block was ordered.  Finally, in 2008, it was decided that the school required a new building to house 24 Mainstream Classes and 2 ASD Special Classes.  This was despite being asked by the BOM to provide a new school in 1999.  The BOM projections for pupil growth proved correct but were not acted on until 2008.  The school has still not been built, but is in the process.  It has taken 11 years, €0.5m in plans and over €1m in pre-fab purchase and rental costs to get to this stage.   This atrocious lack of action and procrastination has had a unquantifiable, detrimental effect on the quality of teaching and learning as a result of trying to teach children in classrooms which were not fit for purpose.

The new building finally started in June of 2011 and is due for completion in June 2012.  The entire project is due for completion in August 2013 and for occupation in September 2013