As excitement builds over the opening of South West College’s £30 million Erne Campus this September, this June is tinged with some sadness as students and staff say a fond farewell to the College’s existing Fairview Campus which has played a vital role in the academic and career development of thousands of locals over the past 50 years.
While the Erne Campus is widely recognised as one of the world’s most prestigious educational buildings as a result of its design and sustainability credentials, the Fairview Campus was similarly ground-breaking when its doors opened 50 years ago. Since opening in September 1971, Fairview has been an iconic feature, transforming the Enniskillen skyline. Although many of the buildings and communities surrounding the campus have witnessed dramatic changes, Fairview has been a constant focal point and a strong pillar for the East End of the town.
Carol Viney, Fairview Campus Manager said:
‘It will be a sad day for the South West College community when lights are switched off and the doors closed for the final time. The building for many has almost been a second home, it has been a welcoming place for students of all ages from all backgrounds and has helped transform the academic lives and career prospects for thousands of people across the region.
Following the onset of the COVID19 pandemic plans to celebrate the legacy of the building were revised and while public health restrictions will not allow all those who would have liked to say a final goodbye to the building in person, a virtual exhibition featuring photographs, videos, testimonials and press clippings from 1971 to the present day will launch on Friday 25th June. The exhibition has been teased by a series of weekly social media posts sparking discussion among former staff, students and community residents.
Reflecting on the plans for the virtual exhibition, Michael McAlister, Principal and Chief Executive of South West College said:
‘Just as we have had to adapt our teaching and working protocols over the past year, our plans to recognize the impact of the Fairview Campus have been restricted by public health guidance. It is disappointing that we are unable to celebrate the legacy of the building and the achievements of those who have passed through its doors as originally planned, but we hope that many of our current and former colleagues and students will join us in commemorating Fairview on the 25th June and over the days that follow.’
The Farewell to Fairview Virtual Exhibition will be available to access via the South West College website from Friday 25th June. For details visit www.swc.ac.uk/farewellfairview or search South West College on Facebook.
Photograph credit - Daniel Moore
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