Royal approval for extension at Glynn school

Joan Christie OBE cuts the ribbon to officially re-open Glynn Primary School. With her are Principal Miss Diane Hawthorne, pupils Robbie, Claire and Georgia, Lord Lieutenant's Cadet Ben Smith and Alderman Roy Beggs. INLT 40-353-PR
Joan Christie OBE cuts the ribbon to officially re-open Glynn Primary School. With her are Principal Miss Diane Hawthorne, pupils Robbie, Claire and Georgia, Lord Lieutenant's Cadet Ben Smith and Alderman Roy Beggs. INLT 40-353-PR

A new £500,000 extension at Glynn Primary was officially opened by a representative of Her Majesty the Queen on Friday.

Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim Joan Chrstie performed the honours at the Main Road school.

Guests included chairman of the board of governors Alderman Roy Beggs, Eilish Mallon, head of development and planning, North Eastern Education and Library Board; architect David Ferguson; contractor Peter O’Hare and foreman Terrence Lennon.

Also invited were Larne Mayor Councillor Maureen Morrow; Larne Lough councillors; East Antrim MLAs and the principals of Larne Grammar, Larne High; St. Killian’s College; staff from Glynn’s Hansel and Gretel Playgroup and John Swann, chairman of Glynn Community Association.

Parents joined the 90 pupils on roll for the special occasion.

Principal Diane Hawthorne thanked the design team from the NEELB and David Ferguson Architects, for their “sympathetic and architecturally beautiful” work.

“The original part of our school was opened in 1932, with an extension in the 1950s and I’m sure you will all agree that our new extension has been exceptionally well designed to blend in. From the outside, visitors passing wouldn’t even be aware that there are actually three phases to our school.

“This extension has been quite a while in the pipeline but thanks must go to Eilish and Kyle and everyone in the NEELB team for all their planning, pushing to get the money and to get the go ahead, for our scheme.

“Thanks to the board of governors, and especially Mr. Beggs, for keeping the need for modern, up-to-date accommodation for the Glynn community always at the forefront.

“Thank-you to our parents and the community for the fantastic support in participating in and supporting the many fundraising events to ensure that every child and classroom has got new furniture.

“Of course, the staff and pupils lived inside that banging, drilling and dust, from January to June, but we decided at the start to be positive and keep our eye on the finished school, and looking around today, it was absolutely worth it.

“Probably the hardest part for us was having the outdoor facilities, especially for those who didn’t like the friendly spiders. However, we all agree that we love our new classrooms and our new school.”

Prayers were offered by Rev Jim Caldwell, rector of St John’s Church of Ireland, who is also a school governor.

Flowers were presented to Mrs Christie, Mrs Mallon, and Mrs Wilma Beggs, wife of Alderman Beggs, by primary seven pupils Georgia, Robbie and Claire.

The official opening was followed by a tour of the new extension which features three new classrooms complete with new interactive whiteboards, toilet facilities, staff room, cloakrooms, hygiene room, new entrance hall and extended playground.

Previously, the children had been accommodated in two internal classrooms and two mobiles.

Speaking afterwards, Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs Jnr said: “I myself was educated in P3 and P4 in the old mobile which has just gone. Whilst it served its purpose well, it is great to see Glynn Primary School with modern buildings and looking to the future. The next generation of pupils in the village and district will really benefit from the excellent new facilities. Well done to all the staff, and parents who actively support the school and have seen it grow in popularity in recent years.”