Local Fine Gael TD, Frank Feighan, has warmly welcomed the news that the long-awaited new Cloonakilla National School in Bealnamullia, South Roscommon will now go to construction next year.
“I’m delighted that Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan has today (Thursday) included the new school on the current school building programme and has designated it as one of 16 urgent projects which will proceed to tender and construction next year.
“This is fantastic news for the teachers, staff, children, parents and the wider community in this rapidly growing area of South Roscommon.
“On two visits I made to the existing school this year, I saw at first hand the capacity pressures for staff and children at the school. Many pupils are being accommodated in prefabs and the school has had to turn away new enrolments because of severely restricted space.
“As far back as 2006, the Department of Education acknowledged that enrolment projections at Cloonakilla NS indicated the need for this state-of-the-art school and the Department subsequently acquired a greenfield site a year later for this development.
“Since then, the Board of Management, which received the planning go-ahead earlier this year to build this new state-of-the-art two storey school, has been actively preparing for this much needed building project in the hope of securing funding.
“The approved construction of this two storey building project will comprise 16 classrooms, a general purpose hall, staff areas, library, stores, a hard-play area with three courts and a new car-parking/set down area.
“For some time, Cloonakilla NS has had an overwhelming case for a new school to cater for the ongoing expansion in enrolment numbers.
“I’m now delighted for all involved that the long wait is finally over and I was glad to raise this urgent matter in the Dail on a number of occasions.”