It has been announced that a 1,000 student Curragh Post-Primary School - to cater for a huge demand for places in South Kildare - will be located on the site of Magee Barracks in Kildare town.
The greenfield site is next to two existing primary schools, Kildare Town Educate Together NS and Gaelscoil Mhic Aodha.
Fianna Fail Education Spokesperson Senator Fiona O’Loughlin welcomed the news this afternoon.
She said: "The Department of Education has confirmed that the school will be located on an 8 acre site near Magee Barrack.”
She added: “This is great progress and is a long-time coming for the education community in South Kildare."
But Senator O'Loughlin added: "We still need to see the immediate shortage for September 2022 addressed by the Minister and her Department, and I am confident that working with the Minister I can help deliver a workable interim solution for our community.”
The politician said that since here election as a TD in 2016, she has been working hard to deliver a new school building for South Kildare.
She added: "We have repeatedly seen issues of capacity within the education system in Kildare South and alleviating that remains a key priority for me.”
“Unfortunately, this year we have seen yet another school place shortage in Kildare South, mainly in the towns of Newbridge, Kildare and the surrounding areas. I have used my position as a Senior Government Senator to advocate strongly on behalf of our community. I have met with Minister Foley on several occasions, both in private and publicly to ensure that she and her Department are fully aware of the issues on the ground, and of the anxiety of affected parents and students in our towns. I have also raised this issue directly with the Taoiseach”
“Like so many others, I have been frustrated by the lack of action in recent years, and the delays with respect to the new building for Curragh Post Primary, but I have continued to raise this at every opportunity, and I am pleased to say that progress has finally been made on the site for the new school. The Department have confirmed that the school will be located on an 8 acre site near Magee Barrack.”
Minister of State Martin Heydon and Kildare South TD stated: “I welcome the long awaited progress on the site and the fact it will play a significant role in addressing our capacity issues at second level across Kildare South but I do regret that the Curragh Post Primary new building will not be in the Curragh which I believe would have been the best location to address demand across the region including Kildare town and Newbridge as well being a badly needed investment in the Curragh Camp.
"I will be pushing the Department to now proceed with an application for planning permission for the new building, as soon as possible.”
In a statement, the Department of Education said that "following an extensive site identification, assessment and negotiation process agreement in principle, subject to contract, has been reached for the acquisition, by the Department of Education, of a permanent school site in Kildare Town."
The Department added that this site will accommodate a new 1,000 pupil plus 4 SEN Unit post-primary school as a replacement for the Curragh Post-Primary School and to cater for the increased demographic growth at post-primary level due to occur in the Kildare South region over the coming years, the majority of which is projected to occur in Kildare Town.
The location of this 8 acre greenfield site is next to two existing primary schools, Kildare Town Educate Together NS and Gaelscoil Mhic Aodha, within the grounds of the former Magee Barracks, Kildare Town.
The development of the post primary school on this site will enhance the education facilities available to Curragh PPS and the existing primary schools in a new educational campus arrangement.
The Department said that due to commercial sensitivities it is not possible to provided further information at this time.
The Department also said it is prepared to provide interim accommodation for the Curragh Post Primary School on its permanent site pending delivery of the permanent project.
Given timeframes for planning and procurement, this is not feasible in time for the start of the 2022/23 academic year but the Department will engage with KWETB in respect of the possibility of providing this accommodation for September 2023. The interim accommodation on this site would be intended to ensure that future school place requirements in the area are fully provided for.
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