That’s class: €16 million redevelopment of Waterford’s oldest school gets go-ahead
A €16 million redevelopment of Waterford’s oldest school can proceed after An Bord Pléanála gave the project the green light.
The development at Newtown School between Passage Road, Wilkin Street and the Newtown Road was signed off by Waterford City and County Council planners earlier this year. However, a third party appealed that decision to the national planning authority.
An Bord Pléanála looked over the council’s decision and the appeal and came to the decision last week to approve the redevelopment plans for the school owned by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
Once the development is completed, the school will be able to cater for 50% more students, significantly increasing its capacity from 400 to 600.
Under the plans, the school will demolish some buildings built in the 20th century and replace them with new modern facilities.
The development will see the creation of 100,000 sq ft of new floor space, the equivalent in size of a football field. Under the plans, five old classroom blocks (Glynn, Jacob, Webster, Foster and Penn) on the Wilkin St side of the school will be knocked and a new 50,000sq ft three-storey classroom block will be constructed on that site.
The old entrance building will be demolished and a two-storey reception building containing an administration area, staff facilities, social area and locker facilities will be built in its place.
The old Bio-laboratory will 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, hosting the history of the school and its founders – the Quakers.
The Foy Building will be redeveloped creating new locker facilities, while four classrooms attached to the swimming pool complex will be demolished to make way for a new state-of-the-art 12,500 sq ft sports facility.
Wyse House, a protected structure, will have a lift and a new staircase added. The library will also undergo refurbishment work, with the dining halls expanded and modernised.
Newtown School was established in 1798 by the Quakers, and the Society of Friends still own the school.