The Kolbe Special School could soon have a permanent home in Portlaoise, with plans to construct a new school building on hospital land purchased from the HSE.
The Minister for Education and Skills proposes purchasing a 0.85ha site from HSE-owned land at St Fintan’s Hospital, on the town’s Block Road. It is planned to construct a new single storey school on the site, to replace the existing special needs school on the Block Road which currently uses prefabs for classrooms.
Included in the development will be car and minibus facilities, access roads, and outdoor play areas.
A report has been provided on the new school by Mr Sean Martyn, of Jennings O’Donovan & Partners Ltd, consulting engineers. Mr Martyn points out that the existing school has 20 pupils and many of them travel to and from their homes in specialised vehicles, as some are wheelchair bound. The new development will be a six classroom school with a maximum of 30 pupils and a staff of ten.
Laois County Council have given outline permission for the development.