Old meets new as 400-years-old Foyle College begins move

The new Foyle College campus on the Limavady Road in Londonderry

The oldest school in Londonderry has moved into the city’s newest school building, marking the first time in four centuries that Foyle College has left the cityside.

The new, state-of-the-art campus on the Limavady Road in the Waterside welcomed the first batch of pupils through its doors yesterday, with the rest of the school set to follow throughout the rest of the week.

Pupils from years 8-10 were wide-eyed as they made their way around the expansive new campus yesterday.

The school principal, Patrick Allen, said it was an “honour” to oversee the historic move at the distinguished institution.

“It was a great honour to have been principal of Foyle last year during the 400th anniversary and a great honour to be principal today to open this new school,” he said.

The institution itself dates back to 1617, when it opened at Society Street within the city walls, 70 years before the Great Siege of Derry.

Mr Allen added: “It has been a huge team effort over a very long period of time to get us to where we are today, in this building with these marvellous technologies.

“It really is exciting times at the school and I’m getting a real buzz from seeing the kids walking around today goggle-eyed, but also from the staff who have put in so much work to get ready for this move.

“Everyone worked really hard to get the new classrooms set up and to see them buzzing and excited about the new technologies and facilities available to us is extremely rewarding.

“This is an extremely modern building but we also have to make sure that we recognise the heritage of those 400 years.

“There are a few things still to go into place. For example, the statue of Sir John Lawrence that used to stand outside Springtown is actually due to go up facing the gate.”

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