FAREWELL TO OLD COLLEGE

Joanne Ross

Reporter:

Joanne Ross

Email:

editor@outlooknews.co.uk

Southern Regional College will host a special ‘Looking Back, Looking Forward’ event next Tuesday (26 March) at its Castlewellan Road campus.

The college is hosting a special exhibition event to celebrate the positive impact and achievements which the Banbridge campus has made over the past 115 years.

Building work on the new £15 million state-of-the-art SRC Banbridge campus, scheduled to open in September 2020, is already well under way and this unique event will give former students, staff, associates and members of the public a unique opportunity to say a final farewell to the ‘old’ campus on the Castlewellan Road.

The event, which is open to everyone, takes place next Tuesday (26 March) at 6pm and will incorporate a special exhibition to celebrate the college’s proud history, legacy and successes. It will also provide an opportunity to find out more about what the new, state-of-the-art campus will offer.

The Banbridge Technical School, as the college was previously known, was first established in 1902 and shared a building with the Free Library located on the Downshire Road. For over 115 years, the institution has been a key educational and social pillar for the area.

The current Castlewellan Road building was opened in 1962 and is now due to be replaced with a new, modern campus which will power the educational, business and community needs for future generations.

To mark the end of this significant chapter in Banbridge’s history, SRC organised the event to allow everyone associated with the ‘old’ Castlewellan Road building – as well as those with a keen interest in the history of the campus – the chance to retrace their steps back through the past, rekindle some old memories while learning more about the exciting plans ahead.

Working directly with the F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio, Banbridge and by delving deep into the college’s own archives, visitors can tour the building to reminisce and view old photographs and memorabilia from that last century

From sculptors to journalists, the SRC Banbridge campus has helped to shape the careers of thousands of local people.

The event takes place at the SRC Banbridge Campus from 6pm until 8pm and SRC is urging anyone who would like to share their own personal memories, photographs and memorabilia to get in touch as soon as possible with Darrelle McSherry by email at mcsherryd@src.ac.uk or by phoning 028 3025 9626.

If you would like to attend, you can also quickly register at www.lookingbacklookingforward-banbridge.eventbrite.co.uk.

SRC chief executive, Brian Doran, said: “The SRC Banbridge campus at Castlewellan Road has enjoyed a proud history from 1962 and prior to that on Downshire Road from 1902.

“We are deeply proud of the positive contribution and real impact which this SRC campus, formerly known as Upper Bann Institute and Banbridge Technical College, has made on so many lives. It deserves to be celebrated and everyone is warmly welcomed to this special event.

“By revisiting the past and by making new history with a contemporary and modern facility which will help to secure the local and wider area’s educational and business future, provide new opportunities and underpin and strengthen careers, we look forward to the next chapter when we officially open this landmark campus at Castlewellan Road next year.”

Construction started on the new £15 million campus last month after full site works were completed on time.

The existing campus and sports facilities, which are located on the same Castlewellan Road site, continue to operate as normal during construction.

SRC is investing around £95m on developing three new campuses at Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon.

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