THE DAYS of children having to traipse across the yard to use outside toilets will soon be at an end at a County Limerick school.
After a long campaign Nicker National School in Pallasgreen has received additional funding from the Department of Education to start building works.
Numbers have been on the rise and the school has badly needed an extension for years. The original school building dates back to 1894 and was last upgraded over 50 years ago. Classes are also taught in two pre-fabs over 40 years old.
But worst of all was the outside toilets. Now they will be a thing of the past.
“The toilets will be included in the new build along with two main classrooms, learning support and resource room,” said principal, Karen Franklin.
She hopes that the work will be put out to tender very soon and building on site and in the field adjacent, bought by the previous board of management, can start as soon as possible.
“We are delighted to receive the money and I would really like to thank teachers, staff, board of management, parents association, parents, pupils and their families for all their patience, support and help with fundraisers,” said Ms Franklin.
She thanked politicians for their backing and especially Cllr Mary Harty.
“She teaches in the school and she got it all going. She did a lot of liaison work between ourselves and the county council,” said Ms Franklin.
Speaking on Tuesday, Cllr Harty said the funding was great news and “badly needed”.
“It’s excellent to see it come to pass. The school is growing in numbers and it is getting very tight for space,” said Cllr Harty.
They have risen from 95 in 2011 to 112 at the moment, and the forecast is for around 120 in September.
Deputy Niall Collins said the issue with the toilets had caused a lot of concern among parents and he was delighted that the funding was granted to alleviate the problem.
“It’s fantastic community school. A lot of the conditions in the school are sub-standard and I’m glad the money has come through,” said Mr Collins.
Deputy Patrick O’Donovan said the announcement “comes in no small part to the role played by local councillor and teacher at the school, Cllr Mary Harty, who has played a key part in advancing the project”.