Kyle Cussen from 6th class was chosen to cut the ribbon at Moynalty's new school watched by fellow pupils, staff, parents and local PP Fr Joe McEvoy.
Moynalty's new energy efficient and eco-friendly national school was officially opened last Thursday with a colourful ceremony, which included pupils, parents, staff, the local community, and boards of management and fundraising committees, past and present.
The ribbon was cut by sixth class pupil Kyle Cussen, whose name was pulled from a hat for the privilege, watched by the Bishop of Meath, Dr Michael Smith, local PP Fr Joe McEvoy and school principal Denise Ward.
The eco-friendly school attracted a lot of national attention and among those who attended Thursdays ceremony were local public representatives, representatives of the Department of Education's building unit and Purcell Construction, the contractor which built it.
Ms Ward welcomed all their guests and acknowledged the work of the various boards of management and fundraising committees over the years. "We have 100 pupils and they are the principal focus and incentive for all we do as a school community," Ms Ward said.
"If I had one wish for the pupils who pass through the doors of this amazing school building, it would be that their years here with us are safe, enjoyable, fun and formative and that their memories of primary school are all positive and happy ones," she added.
Bishop Smith blessed the new building and the students provided colourful entertainment which culminated with them singing 'What A Wonderful World' while displaying pieces of artwork depicting 'skies of blue', 'red roses too' and other lyrics from the song.
The deputy principal, Eileen McKenna, conducted the choir, which was accompanied on harp by her daughter, Maebh McKenna, and one of the parents, Tommie Reilly, on guitar and keyboard.
Gerry Dolan, contracts director of Purcell Construction, presented the school with a beautiful commissioned painting.
The staff and pupils of Moynalty National School moved into their new school building on Thursday 29th March.
The children and their teachers walked from the old building to the new school, cheered on by the local community, with each child carrying something from the old school with them.
It was a colourful procession in the sunshine, with many of the children carrying daffodils as they walked to the unique, energy efficient new building.
The school design is unique in that it has been built to PassivHaus Standard. This involves high levels of insulation, energy efficiency, rainwater harvesting, triple glazing, carbon dioxide sensors in the rooms and an enveloped, or airtight, build.
The ultra low energy building uses biomass boilers, solar panels and a heat recovery system to reduce its ecological footprint. The resulting building is hugely energy efficient and extremely eco-friendly in its running and has received an A rating certificate.
The windows in the classrooms automatically open when the classrooms become too warm and carbon dioxide emissions increase. There are at present only two other commercial buildings built to this standard in all of Ireland.
Constructed by Purcell Construction of Ballybrit in Galway, it is the first 'passive' school in Ireland, the lowest airtightness rating of any non-domestic building in Ireland.
As well as being chosen by The Department of Education and Skills for this type of building, the huge local fundraising campaign a few years ago means the school has had a floodlit all-weather football pitch installed.
This fundraising has also been used to upgrade many of the teaching resources in the school and to acquire a good range of IT and computer equipment for use by all the children.
At the moment, all pupils from third to sixth classes have iPads and, because of successful fundraising, it is hoped that, in September, pupils from first class upwards with also have these tablet computers.
To read the full story see this week's Meath Chronicle.