A render of the proposed new Gaelcholaiste Luimni build
THE new multi-million euro relocation of a city centre secondary school has taken a huge step forward.
Education Minister Norma Foley has confirmed to Limerick TD Willie O’Dea that she has given the approval to tender for the construction of a new 26 classroom, 650-pupil school for Gaelcholaiste Luimni.
The development, which was given the go-ahead last year by Limerick City and County Council, will take place at the site of the former Dawn Dairies building in Clare Street.
The school will leave its home for the first 15 years of its life at Sir Harry’s Mall, with principal Kevin O’Reilly saying the start of work will be “imminent”.
“It’s a massive boost and just what we need at this point in time. Being the biggest all-Irish secondary schools in Ireland and consistently getting top quality results, we are finally going to get the campus that we need for the growing demand for the school.”
The new 7,860 square metre post-primary school will be built, to include six teaching blocks connected by a central circulation corridor.
In this, there will be four two-storey blocks to accommodate general classrooms, specialist rooms, circulation areas, offices, plant room, a dining hall and associated kitchen and storage areas.
The Min for Education has informed me that she has given approval for a significant development for Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh. The Min has given approval to proceed to tender for the construction of a new 26 classroom 650 pupil school at the old Dawn Dairies site on the Dublin rd.— Willie O'Dea (@willieodeaLIVE) July 5, 2021
Another four-storey block will accommodate specialist rooms, circulation areas, staff room, and storage, while there will be a sports hall with a fitness centre.
The school will be accessible from the Pa Healy Road by car. There will be pedestrian entrances from Clare Street, O’Brien’s Park and the Pa Healy Road.
Hard play and landscaped social areas will also be erected. The expansion comes amid an explosion in demand for places at Gaelcholaiste Luimni, which opened in 2006.
Mr O’Dea said: “It’s been a long time coming. It’s fantastic news. The number of students and the demand for places there is growing exponentially. The fact it’s got the go-ahead is a reflection of that. But it has taken a long time, perhaps a bit too long. But nonetheless, better late than never, and we look forward to people going on site as soon as possible.”
He also praised the fact a long derelict site along Clare Street will finally be brought back into use.
“That old site has been an eyesore for far too long. It’s in a prominent entrance to the city, which you’d associate with it being scenic. It’s a good use of that particular site in that area,” added the TD.
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