WORK is expected to get underway next week on two new classrooms for St Gabriel’s School in Dooradoyle thanks to a €340,000 grant from the Department of Education.
St Gabriel’s caters to 48 children - aged from four to 18 - with physical and multiple other disabilities and it is hoped construction work will have finished in time for the new school year next September.
“The school currently has five purpose-built classrooms and these additional two classrooms will cater for existing pupils who are currently using a staff room and a therapy room. It is a very welcome addition to our school,” a spokesperson said.
The grant money will also go towards providing toileting and changing areas as well as mobility aids for the students.
Confirmation that the Department of Education is funding the works has been welcomed this week by local Labour councillor Tomas Hannon.
“I am delighted that the department has approved the costs for the building of two additional classrooms for St Gabriel’s,” he stated.
“St Gabriel’s School is an important part of the community in the Raheen/ Dooradoyle area and provides education and health-related services to children with special needs from all over Limerick and this investment is a testament to the hard work of the staff of the school.
“I understand that the construction work will commence in the next couple of weeks and will be completed in September,” Cllr Hannon said.
The school currently has eight classroom teachers supported by an acting administrative principal. It also has 16 full-time and three part-time special needs assistants.
Some of the students at St Gabriel’s go on to take subjects in the state examinations as well as earn FETAC qualifications.
The children also have access to a range of supports during school hours, including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, hydrotherapy and nursing support.