Strategic Plan

Projects completed to date

Clongowes Wood College S.J. is deeply grateful to the many individuals and families who through their support of the college in so many different ways have made these developments possible. They not only enhance the living and learning environment of the College but also make an invaluable contribution to the spirit of our school. We thank you most sincerely.

May our Lord God, who does not leave without reward those who act charitably, give you generous recompense and prize in the heavenly country.

St Aloysius Gonzaga S.J.

The James Joyce Library

Completed 2008


The James Joyce library provides students with regular access to quality reading materials and in time will include a collection of c.10,000 books, research papers and periodicals. It includes areas for formal and informal study, reading research and multi-media facilities and also has two peer tutor rooms for group study.

The 695m2 library is built in a historic location as it was previously the college theatre (since 1966) and before that was the refectory (1820-1966), where the eponymous Joyce dined while he was a pupil in the school. The space was renovated by architect Paddy Fletcher (OC’70) of A&D Wejchert & Partners. It encompasses a conservatory area and, together with the recently renovated Lower Line Study above it (also in use since 1820), it has become a centre for reading, learning and academic life at Clongowes.

The library is an inviting room – spacious, comfortable, cosy and bright. The new computerised Library Management System allows the library catalogue to be searched from a number of computers located in the library and also from any networked computer in the college. The system is similar to those operating in Irish public libraries and, college and university libraries.

Science, Arts and Technology Building

Completed in 2010


The Science, Arts and Technology (SAT) Building encapsulates the college campus of the future and provides the most up to date conditions for teaching the various subjects to the highest standards. It encompasses three dedicated laboratories and classrooms for each of the science subjects (Physics, Chemistry and Biology). One of the classrooms is adaptable as a demonstration/lecture room for up to eight students. The new art studio includes a clay workshop and dark room for photography and the building also offers facilities for the teaching of technical graphics.

The SAT building is located adjacent to the Infirmary and, together with the new Sports Centre it forms two sides of a new quadrangle and sunken lawn, to be used for leisure and recreational purposes.

The Sports Hall

Completed in 2011


Sports play an important role in the curriculum and development of the boys.  The new Sports Hall building is an essential part of the Clongowes Towards 200 campaign.  Located adjacent to the Vincent Murray Park and the Science, Art & Technology building, the sports hall opened in September 2011, and includes the following facilities:-

  • Extensive P.E. facilities
  • Changing  facilities for teams, games staff and referees
  • A 33m x 29.7m hall to accommodate competition basketball and other sports
  • A weights room overlooking the main hall
  • Multi-purpose space for large assemblies, liturgies, parent-teacher meetings, examinations, school plays and concerts

Lower Line Study


The Lower Line study was renovated, re-floored and repainted, with new desks, lighting and computer access points installed.

Serpentine Gallery


The castle and community living quarters were given a new lease of life in 2004 when they were completely renovated and restored. Along with a new dining room and kitchen, there is now a lift that serves all four floors. The major structural change in the project was the new Serpentine Gallery, which now links the castle to the college. The fine presentation showcases on the ground floor enable some of the exhibits from the college archives to be displayed to best effect, thanks to the large glasshouse-type roof, which provides great light and the impression of spaciousness. Generations of Clongownians have affectionately known the corridor as the ‘Rogues Gallery’ due to the fine collection of portraits of illustrious alumni. This display has recently been expanded as part of the Clongowes Bicentenary Celebrations.

One of the main aims of the renovation project was to ensure the reintegration of the castle into the general life of the college. This has been achieved through the relocation of the Headmaster’s office to the castle and the completion of a new staff room, staff computer room and a proper archives/museum room in the castle building.

Vincent Murray Park (The VMP)


A new floodlit all-weather sports pitch was added to the sports facilities of the college in November 2004. The pitch was a gift from a former parent, who dedicated it to the memory of the late Vincent Murray, much loved Assistant Headmaster and senior rugby coach who made such a huge contribution to the development of rugby at the college. The pitch has become a very popular, integral feature of the sports campus of the college and has allowed the boys to train in all weather and later in the evenings during the winter. The pitch is also used for training purposes by the Ireland rugby team and other professional rugby squads.

Renovation of the Boys’ Chapel


The renewal and renovation of the Boys’ Chapel (1907) was completed with new lighting installed to take advantage of the contours and architecture of the chapel, and a new sound system, which has improved the sound quality. The interior was also repainted, masonry restored, and a new carpet fitted for the altar. A number of friends of Clongowes have contributed to the project by kindly directly assisting with the renovation work, helping to keep the costs of the project down.

Classrooms and Teaching Facilities of the 1929 Building

The refurbishment of several classrooms in the 1929 Building and the college’s lecture room, Room 3 was completed. As a result of this the classrooms have been renewed, with the installation of multi-media presentation and interactive equipment. They have also been freshly painted and wired with full Internet access, adding a new interactive dimension to classroom teaching.

Renewal of the 1966 Building

During 2008, the Poetry rooms of the 1966 Building were completely renovated. A pitched roof replaced its flat predecessor all windows were replaced and the rooms were insulated. The old refectory on the ground floor was converted into a new study for Rudiments and Grammar students, with the addition of piano practice rooms. The building now stands as a wonderful resource and facility for the boys to study and also provides comfortable student accommodation.

The Family Lounge

The new lounge in the reception area of the 1999 Building was completed, to include comfortable seating and refreshment facilities, giving parents a quiet, relaxing place to meet with their sons when they visit Clongowes.