A NEW school building for Skibbereen’s Gaelscoil has been given the green light.
The school, which is now 21 years old, is currently in pre-fabs on the current Rossa College site.
The good news was relayed to the school staff when Minister of State at the Department of Education, Damien English TD, visited the town last week.
He confirmed that the site for Gaelscoil Dr Uí Shúilleabháin’s new build will also be on the Rossa College site.
The secondary school and is currently being transferred from the Cork ETB to the Department of Education, as Rossa College is due to merge with two other local schools, to form a new campus on a greenfield site, in September 2016.
The gaelscoil has been looking for a permanent building for many years and has been accommodated in temporary pre-fab structures for almost all of its existence. Minister English was accompanied by local Fine Gael TD Jim Daly, who was the former principal at the school, prior to his election as a TD for West Cork.
Minister English confirmed to The Southern Star that the Department of Education has agreed to the building of a four-classroom new school building, with appropriate ancillary accommodation. It will include a general purpose room, library and resource area, a multi-purpose room and office space. The new development will make provision for up to 70% expansion on the current enrolment.
Minister Damien English said that when the school signs up for the new proposals, his Department will begin the next steps to secure planning and proceed to tender and then construction. Deputy Daly expressed his delight at what he described as very long overdue but nonetheless ‘welcome good news’ for parents, students and staff.
‘I tried to progress this project as Principal Teacher over a decade ago when money was plentiful and development taking place at every cross roads but to no avail. I am so happy for the school community to see this dream finally become a reality. Investment in our young people and their education system will reap multiple dividends for generations to come,’ he said.