CONSTRUCTIOn of the biggest ever secondary school in County Limerick is expected to begin early next year after the project was included in the Department of Education and Skill’s five-year Capital Investment programme.
Colaiste Chiarain in Croom will move from its current site in the village to the new state-of-art building when it is completed during the second half of 2013.
A design team for the €20 million project was appointed this week and the final plans are expected to be unveiled before the summer.
The new building will be located on a 20 acre green field site on the outskirts of the village near Caherass nursing home and will cater for up to 1,000 students.
There are currently 900 pupils at Colaiste Chiarain with many of them being accomodated in prefabs.
Noel Malone, prinicpal of Colaiste Chiarain says he is delighted that the project has been given the green light. “It will the largest ever second level project in Limerick and the new campus will have the best of everything,” he said.
Built in 1987, Colaiste Chiarain was intended as a phase one development to cater for 300 students.
However, since 1999 the school has grown rapidly and now caters for approximately 900 students from around Croom and the city environs.
Limerick TD Patrick O’Donovan has welcomed the inclusion of the project in the Capital Investment programme. “I would like to warmly welcome this significant development for the new Croom building which we are still confident will be open by 2013.
Construction of the new school will proceed by way of devolved grant which means County Limerick VEC will take control of the project.
This should ensure that it proceeds more quickly that if it was being funded directed by the Department of Education and Skills.