CONSTRUCTION is to begin next year on a new two-storey school off the Roxboro roundabout that will replace the existing Southill Junior School and Galvone NS buildings.
Amalgamation of the schools is an ambition of the Limerick Regeneration programme and is to cost €11.65 million. But the new school, which has been included in the Department of Education’s capital programme for 2014, is part of a much more ambitious education campus for the southside of the city, Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan explained.
“I’m delighted that construction work on this flagship project will begin next year. The campus will facilitate the amalgamation of the Galvone NS and Southill JS. More than that, however, it is a cornerstone of the regeneration plan and will include a pre-school and healthcare facilities. This new campus will be of huge benefit to the entire community,” she said.
“The announcement is another sign that there is real momentum behind the implementation of the Limerick Regeneration project. I am determined to see the implementation plan delivered in full, and that involves various government departments coming together to prioritise investment in vital projects. I’ve worked closely with my colleague Ruairi Quinn on this project and am delighted that it got the green light.”
The new school is to be built on a site owned by the Diocese of Limerick and formerly occupied by St Kieran’s NS. The Church is an enthusiastic backer of the plans described in the latest regeneration plan as the St Kieran’s Project.
It follows the full service extended school model - open longer than typical school hours - and will integrate education, medical, social and other services.
Fr Paul Finnerty, diocesan secretary, said earlier this year that the Diocese was also interested in early intervention projects for young children in the Southill and Janesboro areas.
“If all the state agencies and the patrons who have been planning this pull it off and make it work, it will be of great benefit to our children and to the whole community,” said Southill PP Fr Pat Hogan when the new school was granted planning permission earlier this year.
It is hoped that the new school will open in September 2015.