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Extension promise to Portarlington school

Mr Seamus Bennett, Principal of Col�iste �osag�in, Portarlington who is looking forward to an extension at the school.     Photo: Michael Scully .

Mr Seamus Bennett, Principal of Col�iste �osag�in, Portarlington who is looking forward to an extension at the school. Photo: Michael Scully .

Coláiste Íosagáin in Portarlington is now top of the “priority list” for a school extension, however, they must rely on prefabs to facilitate pupils in the meantime.

A meeting will take place tonight, Tuesday April 1, with the design team to discuss plans for an extension to accommodate for up to 1,000 pupils.

To cope with the increasing number of pupils, the Board of Management have had to apply for five prefabricated classrooms from Offaly County Council.

There are currently 870 pupils enrolled in Coláiste Íosagáin, with an expected rise of over 900 for next year.

Principal Seamus Bennett emphasised the need for an extension.

“We are the only second-level education provider in Portarlington, so our numbers are ever-increasing.

“We have seven temporary prefabs in place at the moment, and we’ve applied for five more.

“You can’t solve the problem with prefabs though. There is a clear need for an extension here,” he told the Leinster Express.

According to Mr Bennett, the school has been applying for an extension for many years now, but with no luck.

“It was a case of priority, and there was just no funding there. But we’re top of the priority list now.

“We don’t know when exactly the work will commence, but we would hope to have it completed by 2016,” he said.

Part of the existing school building is no longer fit for purpose and will be knocked, but some of it will remain.

Between 25 and 30 extra rooms are expected to be built, including specialist rooms for subjects such as art, technology and home economics.

The extension is also to include extra PE facilities, recreational space and a special needs unit.

“The number of pupils is expected to grow beyond 1,000 in the coming years, but planning can only be based on the information at the time.

“We are looking forward to what we are getting,” said Mr Bennett.

 

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