Extension for school which has seen its numbers doubled

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

A NEW state-of-the-art sports and educational facility is planned for Colaiste Iosaef in Kilmallock – one of the fastest growing secondary schools in the country.

A NEW state-of-the-art sports and educational facility is planned for Colaiste Iosaef in Kilmallock – one of the fastest growing secondary schools in the country.

The Department of Education has agreed in principle to the development which will include a new gymnasium, between eight and 10 new classrooms, and new science, IT and technology rooms.

The secondary school currently caters for 497 students and the new facility will mean that the school will be able to cater for in the region of 600 students. The next step in the development is the planning stage.

“I’m delighted to welcome the good news about our new extension, it comes on the back of a lot of hard work by the students, staff and parents and with the support and assistance of County Limerick VEC,” said school principal Sean Twomey.

“These new additions to our campus will mean that we can provide students with the best educational provision in the best facilities available. It will be a real boost to students entering secondary education in the Kilmallock, Bruff and surrounding communities,” he added.

Colaiste Iosaef is now one of the fastest growing secondary schools in the country having seen its enrolment numbers double in the space of two years.

While two years ago there were 180 students attending the school, that figure has jumped to just under 500. The school has also seen its teacher numbers increase by seven this year.

“Our school has been growing very quickly in the last number of years and out enrolment projections over the next few years are very high. A lot of this is down to the excellent level of teaching commitment we provide for our students which has shown in our Leaving Cert results over the last number of years. We are an inclusive school that caters for a large level of extra-curricular involvement also - there are students playing some sport or rehearsing for a show after school every evening of the week,” continued Mr Twomey.

Welcoming the news of the extension, local councillor Mike Houlihan said the school is now becoming one of the biggest employers in the Kilmallock area.

“The secondary school is going to become one of the biggest employers in the town so it has to be a welcome addition and there will also be a spin off for other businesses in the town,” said Cllr Houlihan.

The new school extension is the second good news story for the Kilmallock area in recent times – last week a new primary care facility was given the green-light by An Bord Pleanala creating in the region of 70 jobs for the region – 40 of which will be on a long term basis.

“With the new health care centre more people will be coming into the town and making use of the various services,” added Cllr Houlihan.

Coláiste Iósaef was established in 1998 as a community college from an amalgamation of St Joseph’s Secondary School and St Peters’ College.

It is now under the patronage of Co Limerick VEC.