Tag Archive for: Foundation

On Friday we are officially launching the new Foundation of St. Columba’s College, with a look to the future development of the College. This is a fresh start, with a fresh emphasis and a new direction.

Development is usually seen as building: a new set of classrooms, new boarding houses, a new Astro, or, as recently, a new social centre. I could not be more happy about the way that Whispering House has turned out and I cannot now imagine St. Columba’s without that fantastic space in the middle of the College.

But what is next? What new project are we planning? It has actually been quite a challenge to work out the direction of our development as we go forward and we have spent a considerable amount of time batting around ideas, many of which have seemed initially to be just what we needed, only for enthusiasm to wane. I confess that it was frustrating that we could not fix on the big plan or the big idea as quickly as I would have liked, a project that seemed to fit in terms of the needs of the College and the finances that we could realistically raise or borrow. However, perhaps that period of reflection was necessary as, through that process, we moved towards a plan that now does seem to make sense.

So this is where we are now, as we plan for the future. The main thrust of where we want to head in the next few years is towards a much more sustainable campus, one where we are much less reliant, or not at all dependent, on fossil fuels. It would be great to be carbon-neutral and able to create much of our own energy and that is why we want to invest in an energy system that is run on wood chip and solar power, decommissioning our old gas-powered boilers. We plan to install a new heating system near the Sports Hall and lay new pipes throughout the College, while we also have plans to put solar panels on the roof of the Sports Hall and in the field behind.

Not only does it seem the right thing to do, but it is also something that the pupils themselves feel very strongly about. And understandably so. This is a move that will make a difference to the College for generations to come and I hope that future Columbans and parents, and even future Wardens, will look back and be grateful that we decided, at this time, to invest in the future sustainability of the College rather than launch into some magnificent new building project.

It may be an investment in the future, but I believe that we will start to see a return very soon from the savings that we will make, through the reduction of our use of fossil fuels. And there is also a spin-off that will be more concrete, for, by recommissioning our main boiler, we will be able to create a new classroom space in the middle of the College, next to Whispering House. That will be entirely carbon neutral and, once that has been done, we will be able to remove the old pottery shed in the lower yard and put more classrooms there too. In other words, the mission to make the school far more sustainable has a direct benefit for our teaching and learning. It is much better to be reusing old buildings than to be building from scratch on a new site and I am sure that the new teaching area has the ability to be an iconic space near the heart of the College.

There are other elements to our Foundation too, mainly to do with widening access to the College through raising more money for bursaries, but, whether through bursaries or through doing our duty to reduce our energy usage, sustainability and investment in the future is the driver behind the vision that we have. I hope it strikes a chord with you. It is certainly a direction with which we feel very comfortable and one which will leave a legacy for the future of the College.

The St. Columba’s College Foundation was officially launched on Friday, September 23rd 2022 at an event in Whispering House. The Foundation is the new body, with a broad mission to engage the wider Columban community and help secure the future of the College. To do so, they aim to make the College more accessible, more sustainable, to improve its teaching & learning facilities and enhance its campus.

The Foundation’s mission is founded on four distinct but interlinked pillars:

Sustainability: the desire to transform our energy usage and make the College far more environmentally focused.

Classrooms: there is a need for some new classroom development and this will be able to take place as a direct result of our mission to become more sustainable and the subsequent reattribution of space in the middle of the College.

Bursaries: these will broaden access to the College for families who cannot currently afford to send their children here.

Campus enhancement: we need to enhance the entrance and the approach to the College, as well as upgrade certain areas within the campus.

For more information on the ST. Columba’s College Foundation visit our dedicated webpage or download the Foundation launch brochure here.

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The first girls entered the College 51 years ago – just four of them, who lived in Mrs Caird’s house. Through the rest of the 1970s, the numbers built up in Fifth and Sixth Forms, before in the early 1980s girls started to arrive in the Junior Forms, creating the House called Beresford, and full co-education developed. On Saturday, an event (delayed by the pandemic from last year’s 50th anniversary) took place in the College to mark this important event in our history.

53 Old Columban women returned on a pleasant day; all had entered the school between 1971 and 1981. Before lunch there was a short service in Chapel, followed by a tour of the grounds, and then a lunch in Whispering House, at which the Warden, and Sarah Love (the first female Chair of the Fellows) spoke. We were delighted that Gaye Caird was able to be present as the Bursary in her name was launched. Lunch went on well into the afternoon! Particular thanks go to Sonia Young, Foundation Manager, for organising the whole event so well, and Natalie Campbell (Catering Manager) and her staff.

The College now joined Instagram  (to complement our current suite of social media platforms which include Facebook,  Twitter and LinkedIn). The Instagram account will aim to share posts and stories about life in the College through images and short videos. Visit www.instagram.com/sccdublin and give us a follow! Our first post is below.

St. Columba’s College is delighted to announce details of our new Golf Academy. The Golf Academy programme will provide the opportunity for elite junior golfers to take part in a structured golfing programme, making use of the excellent golf facilities at St. Columba’s, while also attending Ireland’s leading boarding and day school. The College is already home to our fantastic and challenging 9-hole golf course – the home of Kilmashogue GC – but will also be providing a full indoor trackman and putting studio, as well as an outdoor wedge range. We’re also delighted to announce a collaboration with our neighbouring course Stackstown Golf Club, home to three-time major winner Padraig Harrington. Members of the academy, limited to a maximum of 12 pupils for 2022, will automatically have junior membership to Stackstown GC and can play in their weekly competitions. In addition, the College is surrounded by some world-class golf courses, including Grange GC. The programme will be coordinated by PGA Golf Professional Josh Adams, who has extensive experience with young golfers at Golf Ireland’s National Academy, Stackstown, Woodbrook and Rathfarnham golf clubs. We’re delighted to receive an endorsement from former Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley also:

I love to see the endeavour, progress and investment that St Columba’s College has made with their golf programme. Golf is a very important and necessary tool in today’s world, with its opportunities for networking and building relationships, which are key to any success.”

We are extremely excited about the potential for our Golf Academy in the years to come. For more information on golf at St. Columba’s and the Golf Academy visit our dedicated page here.

This term has seen the opening of two new day houses, Kilmashogue for boys and Clonard for girls. Kilmashogue is the name of the mountain overlooking the College while Clonard is named after the monastery where St. Columba studied as a young man. The new spaces, situated in the middle of the College in space that has been reassigned, mean that the day pupils now have their own houses, with dedicated space, rather than a corner of a boarding house. I am excited to see how these new units will develop their own character and sense of identity. Those who are day boarders are remaining as part of a boarding house, Glen for boys and Hollypark for girls, houses that were designed to house a number of day pupils. This is a new venture for St. Columba’s, but I do think that it is a step forward in the day experience at the College.

Kilmashogue House is led by Mr. Peter Stevenson and assisted by Mr. Ian O’Herlihy while Clonard is led by Mrs Sonja Owen and assisted by Ms Karen Hennessy and Mme Clotilde de Frein.

For more information about all the boarding and day houses click here.

Coady Architects have produced a short video which gives an excellent account of the development of Whispering House in 2018-19, showing with drone footage how it fits beautifully into the centre of the College campus.

 

Today the College community mourns as we hear of the death this morning of former Warden, David Gibbs, at the age of 93, in County Laois, (where he and his wife Sally had retired to on leaving the College in 1988). He became Warden in 1974, the first layman to hold the office, and in the following years had a profound influence on the school.

He and his family continued to be close to the school, and the College sends its sympathy to his widow Sally, and to his children William, Lucinda and Alexander (all Old Columbans) and their families.

May he rest in peace.

 

Below, David Gibbs is interviewed by John Fanagan in a video interview produced by Garry Bannister.

On Thursday 14th November the College officially opened our new social centre. It is named ‘Whispering House’, acknowledging the title given by early pupils of the College to the previous building on the same site. The occasion also marked the renaming of the school’s Library the William Trevor Library and the art centre the Patrick Scott Art School. William Trevor, who died in 2016, and Patrick Scott, who died in 2014, were both alumni of the College.

The new building will also be used for artistic display and musical performance and, in recognition of the school’s proud artistic and literary heritage, Josepha Madigan, TD, Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, officially opened Whispering House. We were delighted also to welcome the legendary commentator Micheál O’Muircheartaigh, who delighted all with his words towards the end of the evening.

Pictured above, from left to right: Mark Boobbyer, Warden of St. Columba’s College; Josepha Madigan TD; Micheál O’Muircheartaigh: Gavin Caldwell, Chairperson of the Board of Fellows of St. Columba’s; Sarah Love, Chairperson elect.