New Extension – Recreation Hall

The next extension to the College was the Recreation Hall which joined the New and The Old College on the north end. This was a one storey building and continued that function as a recreation hall until 1964. Andrew Breslan, Dublin later, in 1925, completed minor repairs and improvements to the Old College, the surroundings of the Recreation Hall and the boundary wall as well as to the drainage and sewers. Shortly afterwards, when the E.S.B. replaced the Ballaghaderreen Electrical Supply Company, the Old Electricity Office (Powerhouse) on Chapel Lane was purchased and furnished as a Science Laboratory.

 

Fr. Thomas Curneen, as president, undertook this project shortly after the outbreak of World Ward II. The New Wing consisted of three very large halls, the ground floor furnished as a dining room, the first floor as a study hall and the second floor as a dormitory. Between the New Wing and the New College, three large washrooms and toilets and a large side entrance on the ground floor were built. The style was a classical façade matching the earlier building.

 

The Old College or Barracks had to be modified and the end section of the battlement which housed the dairy on the ground floor and two staff bedrooms on the upper floors was demolished so that the New Wing completed the quadrangle enclosure. The plan involved linking the New Wing and The Barracks through the new servery / washroom on the ground floor and by means of a fire escape from the gable top of the New Wing to the adjacent gable of the Barracks on the first floor. The Military Barracks ceased to be used for student classrooms, dining and trunk rooms and was increasingly used as residential accommodation for domestic staff and as a student infirmary.

 

The official opening of the extension by Bishop Patrick Morrisroe was on the 6th September 1941. The contractor had been Mr. James Glynn, Ballina; the Architect was W.H. Byrne & Son, 20 Suffolk Street, Dublin and the Engineering Consultants were Hadens Engineering Co. Ltd. 199 Pearce Street, Dublin. The enrolment was then 150 having dropped from about 215 in 1935, but it rose rapidly to 190 four years later.