Gabrielle Collins is a production planner and buyer at Merck Millipore in Carrigtwohill, and aunt to Dylan Egan, a student at the school.
“We were looking for a project where we could help in the community,” Ms Collins said. “I mentioned St Gabriel’s and the appalling conditions there and got full support.” As part of a corporate social responsibility programme, Merck paid a day’s wages to staff who volunteered to take part in the renovation.
Over three days, 110 volunteers came in to tackle jobs like painting, but Ms Collins said some of the companies offering expert time and labour worked over the course of two weeks to make drastic improvements to the school, offering their labour for free.
“Everyone did so much and put in so much effort, and the results are amazing,” she said. “This is going to be so enriching for the kids. It’s a real good news story.”