The chair of the Foyle College Board of Governors, Robin Young, says the completion of its long-awaited move to a state-of-the-art new campus in Clooney is a major boost, not just for the school, but for the entire education sector right across Derry.
Mr. Young said history will be made on Monday when pupils and staff formerly based at the old split site on the Northland begin a new era in the life of the venerable old instituion on Derry’s newest school campus off the Limavady Road.
Teachers and staff are already on site this week getting their feet under their new desks in preparation for the commencement of the new school term next week.
Mr. Young said there was a palpable air of excitement around the freshly painted corridors now that the move was finaly happening.
“They’re all very excited. Obviously moving house, you’re excited the first time you move in.
“To have the school on one site is a first for many years for Foyle and certainly the staff will appreciate not having to move between the old junior school and the senior school two or three times a day as was the case before.
“It’s a long time coming and it really opens up the cityside, our existing sites for the expansion of Magee. It will support that as well,” he said.
The move to the Waterside for an alma mater that nurtured such notables as Percy French, George Farquhar and the Lawrences of Derry and India, among others, comes hot-on-the-heels of its quatercentenary last year.
Mr. Young said the move was driven by necessity and that its most recent base was no longer fit for purpose.
“It got to that stage. The old school was showing its age, particularly the Springtown building actually, which was fifty years old.
“I mean, there’s concrete cancer in that now, you would be worrying about windows falling out, and simple things like that. It really was past its sell-by date. Both of the sites really were,” he said.