Local community lotto funds major extension to Offaly school's play area

Ger Scully

Reporter:

Ger Scully

Email:

editor@tullamoretribune.ie

TT3436GS

Construction work in progress on the extension

THE play area at Ballinagar N.S. has been almost doubled in size to facilitate Covid-19 regulations thanks to funding provided by the local community lotto.

Work on the ambitious development, which will cost in the region of €30,000, commenced last Friday and will be completed in time for pupils and staff when the school reopens later this month.

The project is spearheaded by the school's Parents Association who undertook the work to ensure that pupils could adhere to social distancing guidelines and remain within their own class bubbles at staggered break times.

Chairman of the Parents Association, Aidan Minnock said the school and the association were very appreciative of the support from the community lotto, both tickets sellers and buyers.

“Parents at the school are delighted with the project at this particular time but the extended yard will bring years of joy to children in the school long after the Covid pandemic has passed,” said Mr Minnock.

As well as extending the school yard a new shelter has been provided for students for use during inclement weather conditions.

Mr Minnock paid tribute to the contractors carrying out the work, Tower Plant and Civil Engineering, a local company “which came in with a very favourable quote given that it was a community initiative involving community funding.”

He also extended thanks to fellow members of the Parents Association, the Board of Management, the Community Lotto, school Principal, Alan Plunkett and all the members of the teaching team.

Ballinagar N.S. reopens on August 26 next for junior infants and for all other classes on the following day, August 27.

The Ballinagar Community Lotto was founded some years ago and the proceeds are used to fund the local school and GAA club.

The venture receives support from people in the immediate as well as from neighbouring Cappincur, Daingean, Geashill, Tullamore and further afield.

The draw takes place each Monday night and a local lady was the lucky winner of the jackpot of €12,200 last Monday.