New era as gates close on his­toric school route

Fe­bru­ary 1998

Bray People - - NEWS -

A route to school for gen­er­a­tions of Bray chil­dren was fi­nally closed af­ter close to a cen­tury and a half in use last week­end.

The main Ve­vay Road en­trance to the Loreto Con­vent and Sec­ondary School has been closed to ac­com­mo­date a new spe­cial­ist class­room block on the site.

A school en­trance for tens of thou­sands of young­sters since the Loreto Or­der first es­tab­lished a school at the prop­erty 148 years ago, the av­enue ac­cess to the lo­cal sec­ondary school was fi­nally ex­tin­guished last Fri­day, to be re­placed by a new en­trance which opened this week ad­ja­cent to the Open Door Day Care Cen­tre on Ve­vay Road.

The seep­ing av­enue lead­ing to Loreto com­manded panoramic views of the town, and was in ser­vice from the time of the orig­i­nal es­tab­lish­ment by the Put­land fam­ily of the main house ‘Sans Souci’ on the prop­erty in around 1800.

Sans Souci and its 78 acres of land was sub­se­quently ac­quired by the Loreto Or­der in 1850 and opened as a sec­ondary school for board­ers and day pupils shortly there­after.

A work­ing farm ex­isted on the lands un­til the early 19700s, while a gate lodge at the Ve­vay Road en­trance to Loreto was de­mol­ished dur­ing the 1980s. Just over 800 pupils cur­rently at­tend Loreto Sec­ondary School, which is now Bray’s big­gest post pri­mary.

The steady increase in num­bers prompted a lo­cal school cam­paign for new fa­cil­i­ties, and fund­ing ap­proval for de­vel­op­ment work was fi­nally green-lighted by the Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion last year. The new class­room block will in­clude a sci­ence lab, kitchen, tech­nol­ogy room, prayer room and staff room and is sched­uled to be opened later this spring.

It is un­der­stood that a sec­tion of the tree­lined av­enue to the school may sur­vive as an ac­cess route.

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