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Former Pretty Polly site to be transformed into major educational facility

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By Michelle Crean

The former Pretty Polly site, which has been derelict for years, is to be transformed into a major state-of-the-art educational facility.

WELCOME NEWS: Education Minister Norma Foley has welcomed the news of today’s announcement that the green light has been given to milestone capital projects for Munster Technological University (MTU) and Kerry Education and Training Board’s College of the Future in Killarney.

LOCATION: Kerry TD Brendan Griffin with Minister Simon Harris at the Pretty Polly site in March.

Kerry Education and Training Board (KETB) has this morning (Monday) received approval to proceed to the next stage in developing a College of The Future (COTF) in Killarney.

The project proposed involves overhauling an existing factory site, including the existing on-site buildings and transforming it into a state-of-the-art campus.

The intention is to transform the existing site into a state-of-the-art campus to develop a Centre of Excellence in Hospitality Training, a Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Green Technologies and a Regional Centre of Excellence for Lifelong Learning.

The Killarney Campus will deliver training to 3,573 in the first year, 3,591 in year two and 3,609 in year three.

In addition, Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science of Ireland, has confirmed Munster Technological University (MTU) has been given the go ahead to proceed to the next phase for the Kerry Campus Learner Centre under the Technological Sector Strategic Projects (TSSPF) Fund.

“These are two significant developments furthering the development of education in County Kerry," Education Minister Norma Foley said.

"I want to thank my Cabinet colleague Minister Harris who has engaged with me in securing these projects and also acknowledge the vision and input of both Kerry ETB and the MTU. By advancing these ambitious projects we will ensure that the technological and further education and training sectors in Kerry have access to state-of-the-art facilities that will drive economic growth and social development, expand digital teaching and learning facilities and create and expand key centres of excellence.”

Kerry TD Brendan Griffin, who brought Minister Harris on-site there last March and organised a meeting between him and Kerry ETB and Killarney hoteliers in the Dromhall, also welcomed the positive news.

The CEO of Kerry ETB, Colm McEvoy said that the announcement is "welcome" following the assessment of our Strategic Assessment Report for this proposal.

"Kerry ETB is delighted to get approval to proceed to the next phase in this process and develop a formal business case," he said.

“We are determined to bring this project to reality and work will commence immediately on developing the business case. When completed this new campus in Killarney, which is fully aligned with the organisations commitment to supporting life-long learning, will provide a regional and national FET campus of excellence that will benefit thousands of learners and support local, regional and national development.

"I wish to thank the Department for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and SOLAS for their continued support of our vision for the future of further education and training across County Kerry.”

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Rathmore students look to the future

Students in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore looked to the future as they explored third level opportunities. The teens took part in a number of activities to mark College Awareness […]

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Students in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore looked to the future as they explored third level opportunities.

The teens took part in a number of activities to mark College Awareness Week which was held in schools and other education settings nationwide last week.

The focus throughout the week in their school was to highlight the wide range of options open to them when they leave school and to realise that there are pathways to suit all types of learners.

Students from First to Sixth Year took part in activities to get them thinking about their future plans.

First and Second year students completed a module on ‘My Pathways’ and Third Years had an introductory talk on options after school.

Transition Year students worked on a display on all the options and pathways available after school which will remain up permanently.

Senior Cycle students attended the Careers Fair in Munster Technological University (MTU) where they got a chance to meet universities, colleges of Further Education, agricultural colleges, apprenticeship and more education and training providers from around the country including past sudent Aidan O’Mahony at the stand with An Garda Síochána.

Leaving Cert and LCA students had a really informative talk in school on Further Education and apprenticeships from Ella O’Donoghue, Admissions Officer of Kerry College.

The week finished with a talk for Senior Cycle students on Business and Law options in UCC by Ian Wallace.

“A highlight of the week was the involvement of past students, who sent us video clips on their career stories so far and shared tips with students,” Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor at the school, said.

“It was fabulous to see how well our former students have done and it was really important for our current students to see the diversity of pathways they have taken including apprenticeships, Further Education courses, university, travel, setting up businesses and returning to education as mature students. We are really grateful to the past students who reconnected with us for this week, their input was inspiring and invaluable.”

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Students have education and fun London trip

Leaving Certificate students from St Brigid’s returned home Saturday night after a hectic four-day tour to London. The 87 girls took a tour of London on their first day in the city […]

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Leaving Certificate students from St Brigid’s returned home Saturday night after a hectic four-day tour to London.

The 87 girls took a tour of London on their first day in the city after landing. They visited some of the famous locations on the journey, such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and Trafalgar Square. They enjoyed a night at the Lyceum Theatre in the West End watching ‘The Lion King’.

The girls went to The Natural History Museum on day two, which has one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artefacts. They took their time looking around the massive cathedral-like structure’s sculptures and frescoes. Four coloured zones that focus on topics including the environment, evolution, the planet, and wildlife make up the museum’s divisions. They then took pleasure in a trip to the fascinating Science Museum. It was the ideal location for someone with an inquisitive mind, full of amazing things to do and explore.

The Victoria and Albert Museum was the next stop on the itinerary. The V&A’s collection of art spans 5,000 years, from prehistoric periods to the modern era. The Mouse Trap, an Agatha Christie play, was the entertainment for this evening at the St Martin’s Lane Theatre. The play’s 70th anniversary was this week.

On day three, the girls boarded a capsule for a 30-minute spin of the London Eye and marvelled at the breath-taking sights of London. After that, they went to the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Planetarium and Astronomy Centre, where they experienced an amazing adventure through space. They went to the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, planting one foot on the eastern and the other on the western hemisphere of our planet.

The girls ended their evening at what was a highlight for many at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.

On the final day before flying home, the girls went to Oxford Street to do a spot of shopping.

“A great trip was had by all where many memories were made,” said Sheree Murphy, one of the teachers who travelled with them on the trip.

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