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31/07/2021

Tenders sought to build new 1,000-student school in Limerick

Tenders sought to build new 1,000-student school in Limerick

The land where the new Educate Together school is planned at in the shadow of Northern Trust

BUILDERS could be on the ground at the site of Limerick’s newest secondary school by December.

That’s after the Education Minister Norma Foley cleared the way for the tendering process to commence for builders to construct the new 1,000 student Educate Together secondary school.

To be located in the Ballysimon Road, the purpose built complex will boast almost 60 classrooms plus a variety of other features.

After council gave planning permission last year, builders can now submit tenders for the multi-million euro project.

Principal Eoin Shinners said he’d expect to see building to commence by the end of the year.

“It will be a 62-week build, delivered in two phases simultaneously in order to speed up process,” he said.

“Our enrolment is increasing significantly year-by-year. As of September 2021, we’ll have 318 students enrolled in the school. That’s a significant increase when you compare it with September 2018 when we opened to 56 students.

“The school is growing slowly and steadily which is how we want it. It’s always a worry if you get too big too quickly, you can quickly lose sense of what the school is about, and what we are going to do in terms of innovative teaching and learning,” he said.

For its first few years, the Limerick Educate Together Secondary School has been located at the old Salesians College in Fernbank, just off the North Circular Road.

Mr Shinners added: “We are quickly outgrowing Fernbank, so the news that the school got the go-ahead is fantastic. 2023 would have been a crucial year for us in terms of outgrowing the building here in Fernbank. The timing of it is perfect in terms of the school.”

Local Fianna Fail TD Willie O’Dea has also welcomed the development, having been informed of the news by his party colleague.

“This is very welcome news for this ambitious project and I am absolutely delighted for the principal, staff and pupils that Minister Foley has now given formal approval for the project to proceed to tender. The project will provide hundreds of jobs during construction and a state of the art education facility when it is completed,” he said.

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