ESB to put electricity lines underground at Portlaoise schools to clear the way for pitch.
The obstacle to three Portlaoise schools getting a playing pitch looks set to be removed.
Laois Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming has confirmed that that ESB will commence work early in the New Year regarding putting the 38kv ESB line underground in the area of the Summerhill School Campus, Portlaoise.
This will allow for the three schools, Gaelscoil Phortlaoise, Educate Together NS and Maryboro NS to proceed with their plans to develop an all weather grass playing facility for use by pupils.
"The removal of these pylons and overhead wires was a major obstacle and the ESB have been working to develop a plan to deal with this issue for sometime. I am pleased that the ESB have also confirmed that there will be no cost incurred by the school campus for work associated with removing these structures from this property.
"This is indeed welcome news as it is essential as part of any school facility that there be adequate playing facilities available to ensure that pupils have the facility to engage in physical activity as part of their normal school work," he said.
The news was confirmed to this week Deputy Fleming in a letter from the ESB.
"We hope to commence work on this project in the first quarter of 2017 if we encounter no issues with the land owner or the SAC," wrote Willie Lalor, construction supervisor.
About €50,000 is needed by the three schools to develop the pitch. Substantial funds have already been raised for the project by parents of the three schools. A grant of €22,000 was raised in 2014 which will cover about half of the costs.