More delays for massive new Portlaoise parish schools
The latest moving day for Portlaoise's Holy Family primary schools came and went this Easter, but it will be many more months before the children will step foot in their new state of the art buildings.
Portlaoise Parish Priest Monsignor John Byrne has confirmed to the Leinster Express that the new date is now the next school year, September 2017, over a year from the first estimated completion date.
The Holy Family Junior and Senior Schools with 24 classrooms each, will take 1,400 pupils who are this year spread out between four old school buildings in Portlaoise town centre.
The new complex will include a shared multi purpose hall and playing fields. It is sited at Aughnaharna, off the Southern Circular Route in Portlaoise, close to the town's other primary school complex at Summerhill.
The construction by Sammon Construction Group has now run beyond four completion deadlines, April, September and December 2016 and now this April.
Msgr Byrne is growing in hope that the end is in sight, as the new deadline is now June, allowing the summer to act as a cushion for all final works.
"I can now say with a degree of certainty that both Scoil Bhride Knockmay, and Aughnaharna will be in their new buildings on September 1. It might be all the sweeter for the long delay," he said.
Having recently done a site visit, he confirmed that all hands are on deck at Aughnaharna.
"It is all happening there now, there is a big workforce fitting the schools out, and they are within two months of completion," Msgr Byrne said.
With the new school at capacity before it opens, work on two extensions is planned to begin after the pupils move in.
Scoil Bhride NS in Knockmay is getting a new two storey 32 classroom building to replace the existing eight classroom school and over 30 prefabs that cover the playground. The largest primary school in Laois with almost 800 pupils, has awaited its new building for many years.