Summerhill College

History

The College of the Immaculate Conception was founded by the then Bishop of Elphin, Dr. Gillooly, in Summerhill, Athlone in 1857. It was transferred to Sligo in 1880 and provided with temporary accommodation in Quay Street while a new college was being built. The new building, close to the Cathedral, was formally opened in 1892. For many decades it catered for both boarders and dayboys and operated essentially as a junior seminary for the diocese of Elphin. The boarders were drawn from counties Sligo, Roscommon, Mayo, Donegal Cavan and wider afield.

In 1969 a major new extension was opened, opposite the original stone-cut building. By then the College was catering for a huge increase in student numbers brought about by the introduction of free second level education in 1967.

From the late 1960s day boy numbers exceeded those of boarders. In the 1980s the boarding school dimension at Summerhill ended but by then the College was catering for increased student numbers from Sligo and its environs.

A Board of Management has been in place since 1998 and they oversee the affairs of the college. It is composed of parent and teacher nominees as well as nominees of the trustees of the college. In 2010, with grant aid from the Department of Education and Skills a new state of the art college building with a capacity of 900 students was commenced on the site of the 1969 building. Opening its doors in September 2012 this marked a complete move of the college from the old 1892 campus. In May 2016 an extension to the building was opened and named ¬úThe Bishop Christopher Jones Learning Centre which is designed to integrate the students in the ASD classes with mainstream students.