Governors, staff and pupils at Dromore Central Primary were delighted to welcome The Duchess of Cornwall to their school last Wednesday (May 10).
Her Royal Highness performed the official opening of the impressive £9.5million school building at Mossvale Road, where she was given a tour of the new facilities, met with staff and pupils, and enjoyed entertainment provided by the school choirs.
Unveiling a plaque to mark the occasion, the Duchess joked that she had “never seen better behaved children” and praised the school’s “wonderful atmosphere”.
Principal Linda Allen said the occasion marked the start of an exciting new chapter in Dromore Central’s distinguished history.
“The new build was a huge undertaking,” she reflected. “The actual move was a considerable logistical challenge and more recently we’ve been planning the official opening so everybody’s been incredibly busy. But the effort has been well worthwhile and, standing here today in such impressive surroundings with everything having gone so well, I feel very proud and privileged as the principal of this school.
“It has been a wonderful day and I’m very happy with how it all went. I’m so proud of the children and it was lovely to see how the Duchess genuinely engaged with them from start to finish.
“Today has been memorable, but the great thing is that these fantastic facilities will make a difference for this school community for many years to come and positively influence the lives of generations.
“Having buildings like this will give everyone a sense of being valued and nurture confident feelings of optimism and ambition as we go forward with fresh purpose.”
Mrs Allen also paid tribute to her predecessor Mr Jim Cochrane and former Chair of the school’s Board of Governors, Mr Will Patterson, whose efforts helped bring the new build dream to fruition.
Welcoming the official opening of the award-winning building, current Chair of the school’s Board of Governors, Mrs Lyn Bland said: “There has been so much dreaming, hoping and planning through the years but today is the culmination of a long journey and we’re delighted with this lovely new school that has been provided for us by the Education Authority.
“Moving 700 children is no easy task but the effort has been well worthwhile and it’s obvious that everyone is very satisfied with their new surroundings in which staff can continue to offer excellence to all children.”