Plans submitted for new extension at County Limerick primary school

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

A DECISION is due next month on plans to remove prefabricated buildings at Mahoonagh National School in Castlemahon and replace them with new, purpose-built classrooms.

A DECISION is due next month on plans to remove prefabricated buildings at Mahoonagh National School in Castlemahon and replace them with new, purpose-built classrooms.

The school’s board of management has applied to Limerick County Council for planning permission to construct two new permanent classrooms and three new resources areas adjacent to the existing school building.

If approved, the project will see the removal of three prefabricated classrooms which have been in use at the school for a number of years. A decision on the plans is due in October.

Local county councillor Jerome Scanlan welcomed the proposed extension at Mahoonagh NS, describing it as something which will be “of huge benefit” to the parish.

“It’s good to see that prominence is being given to building permanent accommodation. There are excellent teachers and support staff in Castlemahon, and as we know they’ve done tremendous work over the years. The least they can expect is permanent, comfortable classrooms that are fit for purpose.

“This will be of huge benefit to Feohanagh-Castlemahon. It’s part of this Government’s broader commitment to doing away with portacabins, which are of huge cost to the State.”

The designs for the new classrooms were submitted by Liston Architecture, of Walshestown, Castlemahon on behalf of the school’s board of management.

Cllr Scanlan said that while the value of the project and the number of construction jobs it will create is yet to be finalised, the removal of portacabins – which cost the State several thousand euros a year each in rent – will ensure that the project will be revenue neutral in a relatively short time.

“I don’t have the figures specifically relating to Castlemahon, but from previous experience I know that portacabins can cost anything upwards of €5,000 per year in rent. If you look at the capital cost of replacing them as being something in the region of ten times that, the work will have paid for itself after ten years”.

Cllr Scanlan added that a recent decision to award planning permission for a new community hall in Castlemahon, adjacent to the school, has provided the parish with another boost.

“You’re going to see the provision of shared services between the hall and the school, which is very welcome.”