St. Mary's College celebrated the official opening of its new Northland Road school earlier this month.
Among those who attended the event were Education Minister Caitrona Ruane, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Eamon O'Hare, of O'Hare and McGovern, who built the school, Bishop of Derry, Most Reverend Seamus Hegarty, Donal Flanagan, Chief Executive of CCMS, Barry Mulholland, Chief Executive of WELB and Gay Durkan, chairperson of the Board of Governors.
Expressing her heartfelt thanks to all involved in creating the new school, College Principal Marie Lindsay said: "Architects shape the building and the building shapes those inside. This building is designed for education in the next century, it is a breathing living space and the hands that built this school deserve a special mention for they built it as if they were building their own homes.
"We are here to open a building but St. Mary's is more than a building, it is a community."
Mrs. Durkan said the building was “a magnificent space for the school and wider community.”
Education Minister Catriona Ruane said: “This purpose-built accommodation represents a 19 million investment in the North West. The facilities provided will benefit not only pupils today but for generations to come.”
She added: “I want to commend the Principal Marie Lindsay, the Board of Governors and all the school staff. It is through their vision, insight, hard work and dedication that this new school has been made a reality. St Mary’s College is an excellent example of a non-selective school providing an equality-based education to all. Their commitment to child-centred education system has been demonstrated in their strong leadership in the implementation of Transfer 2010."
Martin McGuinness said: “This is a very special occasion for me personally, this is a good day for the city and the school community. These buildings are symbols of Derry's better future. However, these buildings are nothing without the high quality of you, the young people who use them. They are good news."
Eamonn O'Hare, of O'Hare and McGovern, who won the contract to build the school, described it fittingly as "a school worthy of a City of Culture."