Pond Park kids pay a visit to see the work at Rathvarna House

Chilldren of Pond Park Primary who visited Rathvarna House this week
Chilldren of Pond Park Primary who visited Rathvarna House this week

Children from Pond Park Primary went to inspect one of Lisburn’s oldest buildings which is under a £500k reconstruction project.

Rathvarna House, which dates back to the 1900’s is being turned into a youth resource centre for the SEELB.

Work is currently being carried out by Maurice Flynn MFS, having started in January and is expected to be completed in May.

Six years ago residents won a battle to save the building from demolition after it was listed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) because of its special architectural and historic interest.

Local people had campaigned to save the building, after a planning application was put forward by the Education Board to have it demolished and replaced.

The two storey villa, which dates back to 1903, is designed in the Italianate Palazzo style of late Victorian era set within a complementary garden.

Children from P2 at Pond Park Primary visited the building on Tuesday.

Mark Spence Business Developmenet Director with MFS said, “We had a fun time this morning with Ms Anderson’s P2 class from Pond Park Primary.

“We let them dress up in hardhats and hi-vis vests and toured the building site. Our contract Manager Mark Murphy and H&S Manager Declan Kearney held a Q&A session with the children answering their questions about the house and the ongoing work.

“We sent them away with a few MFS goodies each and the invitation to return to see the finished house in early summer.

He went onto say, “MFS were delighted to have been awarded the contract to refurbish the listed Rathvarna House and return it to public service after many years of dereliction.

“We are always keen to involve the local community in major schemes that impact them and the Principal of neighbouring Pond Park Primary School, Mr Geoffrey Cherry worked with us to enable a visit by the children from Ms Anderson’s Primary 2 class.

“The children were able to see at first hand a busy building site, ask about the works ongoing and get a flavour of what it might be like to work in the construction industry.

“We look forward to welcoming them back again when the works are completed.”