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Bligh's Lane
Nursery School

Bligh's Lane
Derry
BT48 9PJ

028 7126 7603
lwoodsblns@gmail.com

 

 

 

The refurbishment and extension of Bligh’s Lane Nursery School has been supported by the Londonderry Regeneration Initiative (LRI). The aim of LRI is ‘to release the full potential of the most disadvantaged areas of Derry to become vital parts of a dynamic, prosperous and successful city, by creating new opportunities for positive change through imaginative local action in partnership with others’. Through this partnership with the Western Education and Library Board, LRI has created opportunities for personal development through life-long learning, encouraged partnerships through the provision of superb facilities for the community and made a real difference to the lives of people in the area.

The extended and refurbished building was jointly funded by LRI and Western Education and Library Board. A total of £115K was allocated from LRI with an additional £49K funded from the Board’s Minor Works budget.

The works comprised of a new oil-fired heating system, new boiler house and store, new entrance foyer, new staff-room and new block play area in the former foyer. The school also has a new office/story room, extended covered play area, new safety surface in play area, new floor covering and ceilings throughout, refurbished children’s washrooms and double glazing throughout. The school has been completely redecorated and has an extended driveway and new fencing with landscaped gardens and a security system has been installed.

During the refurbishment period, the school had to vacate the building into temporary accommodation. The site for the temporary accommodation at the Rath Mor Centre, Bligh’s Lane, was kindly granted by Mr Conal McFeely from the Social Economy Agency. The school and the Board are indebted to Mr McFeely for all his assistance during this period.

The first Principal of the school was Mrs Nuala Heaney who was supported by an assistant teacher, two nursery assistants, one cook and one caretaker/cleaner. In 1994 a significant piece of building work was carried out at the school in the form of what is known as ‘the energetic play area and indoor sandpit’. This provided both classrooms with an extended play area and allowed easy access for the children from one classroom to the other. In 1996 Mrs Heaney was seconded to the Western Education and Library Board’s CASS service and Mrs Mary Gillen took up the seconded Principal’s post in the nursery school. Having returned to their own schools again at the end of that academic year, both Mrs Heaney and Mrs Gillen were successful in obtaining their respective new posts on a permanent basis in April 1999. This was Mrs Heaney’s twentieth year as Principal in the school.

The following year Mrs Gillen began to work on what was then known as ‘The Millennium Project’ i.e. the complete refurbishment of the school. With support of Londonderry Initiative and Western Education and Library Board funding, Governors and staff, the work was complete in September 2003.