THE construction of a new €4.3 million primary school in Kilmallock will have a major spin-off for the people of the local area, according to the school’s principal, Michael O’Connor.
Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn has announced that Scoil Mocheallóg is to be replaced with a new primary school as part of a €100 million investment in new school building projects across the country.
Late last year, the green light was given by Limerick County Council for the new 16-classroom primary school in Kilmallock. The school which is to measure approximately 3,000sqm is to cater for the region of 450 pupils.
“It’s going to be great for the town - there will be a major spin-off for the people of the town,” said Michael O’Connor.
The school is to be located on a green field site on the Glenfield Road, south of the existing boys’ school.
The works to be carried out include the demolition of the existing boys’ school after the new school has been constructed.
The proposed school is a split level building, single storey at the entrance level with single storey lower ground level to the south and two storeys at the south east corner and includes six special education tuition rooms, a general purpose hall, special needs units, library and resource room, offices and storage areas, two external ball courts, and external play areas.
“A tremendous amount of time and effort had gone into this project over the past decade. It will be hugely beneficial to the children and future generations who will attend the school. I want to publicly acknowledge the tireless dedication and commitment of Canon Willie Fitzmaurice, Michael Barron and my predecessor Sr Teresa Murphy,” Mr O’Connor added.
Sr Teresa who is the treasurer of the board of management has been spearheading the new school project along with Canon Fitzmaurice since 2000.
Cllr Mike Houlihan from Kilmallock welcomed the announcement that Scoil Mocheallóg is to be replaced with a new state-of-the-art building. “The news is very welcome,” said Cllr Houlihan.
The Kilmallock man said that both the primary school and secondary school are two of the biggest employers in the Kilmallock area.
“We must think of the employment they are bringing as well as the facilities they are providing. The planning permission has been granted and the funding is there so I presume it will be going to tender soon and it won’t be that long before it is built and people will see the results quickly enough,” he continued.
Senator James Heffernan from Kilfinane said it has been a great few weeks in relation to education in south east Limerick.
“Firstly, there was the opening of the state-of-the-art new primary school in Kilfinane, and now we have the news that funding has been secured for another new modern school for Kilmallock,” he said.
“The current school has been run down for far too long and it is for that reason that I am over the moon to see that it will finally be replaced,” added Senator Heffernan.
At present, there are two school buildings catering for the 292 primary school pupils in the town.
Children from junior infants to second class are taught in the old girls’ school building which was opened in 1928, while children from third class to sixth class are taught in the old boys’ school building which dates from 1967.
It is expected that the school would be built over a 15 month construction period.