October 19, 2021

Decision due on historic Waterford school’s massive €16m modernisation plan

A decision is expected within the next week on a hugely ambitious €16 million plan which would see one of Waterford’s oldest schools undergo a massive transformation.

Newtown School is looking to demolish some buildings built in the 20th century and replace them with new modern facilities, which would also allow the school cater for 50% more students.

Overall the development would see the creation of 100,000 sq ft of new floor space, the equivalent in size of a football field, and would be able to educate 600 students, up from a current capacity of 400.

Under the plans, five old classroom blocks (Glynn, Jacob, Webster, Foster and Penn) on the Wilkin St side of the school would be knocked and a new 50,000sq ft three-storey classroom block would be built in its place.

The old entrance building would also make way for a new two-storey reception building containing an administration area, staff facilities, social area and locker facilities. The 20th century Bio-laboratory would make way for a new 5,350 sq ft single-storey special needs unit, while the northern section of the labs will be turned into a museum.

Changes would be made in the Foy Building creating new locker facilities, while four classrooms attached to the swimming pool complex would be demolished to make way for a 12,500 sq ft sports facility.

New covered walkways would be created between some of the buildings while the dining halls would be expanded and modernised.

Wyse House, which is a protected structure, would see the addition of a lift and a new staircase, while refurbishment work would be done on the Library, also a protected structure.

Newtown School was established in 1798 by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), who still own the school.

A decision on whether or not the school’s Board of Management plans are approved is expected early next week.



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