Not only are the young people of Killeshin looking forward to the opening of their new primary school in September, but Killeshin Community Development also hope to have a new playschool ready to open by the new school year.
The committee are currently waiting on planning approval from Laois County Council to being construction on their new playschool and afterschool facility.
The new building will cost around €250,000 and the committee are using money that has been fundraised locally, as well as government grants to fund the build.
“We hope to be in for September, as it’s a prefabricated building it won’t take long to construct once we get the planning permission. At the very latest, we will be in the new building by the end of the year,” Helen Curry, manager of The Den, explained.
The Den was established over ten years ago. It first started in the local Community Hall, before moving to it’s own prefab. Now Ms Curry is looking forward to doubling the amount of space she has to work with.
“We’re going to build it on a new site in front of the new school. It will double the space we have at the minute and we will also have a playground and outdoor space that we don’t have at the minute,” Ms Curry explains.
Currently, Ms Curry and her 11 staff cater for 20 children in the playschool and 35 plus in the after schools, all which is held in the one room. They also run summer camps during the school holidays.
“The new building will have a room for the playschool and a separate room for the afterschools, we will also have a reception.”
With the additional space, Ms Curry will be able to offer her services to more children in the area.
“It’s brilliant for the area. It’s just a small village and with no factories or industries the The Den is the biggest employer in the area,” she added.