THE boys national school in Ballyroan has applied to Laois County Council for planning permission to build a prefab on the school grounds, because of the large number of pupils entering junior infants this September.
Cllr Mary Sweeney told the Leinster Express that she is very optimistic the prefab will be step towards a new school.
“We are at the design stage for a new school. The parish has bought a site beside the girls’ school. We were not on the last building list but we have been in touch with the minister’s office and we could get lucky. I am seriously optimistic to get on that list”.
“In the meantime there is a huge number of children coming into the school in September and and we have applied for approval to get a prefab installed at the boys’ school”. Councillor Sweeney said that the parish has been talking about amalgamation for the last fifteen years.
“We feel we are well ahead of the posse. There have been an extra 200 houses built here in the last few years and we more than need a new school. The only thing to be approved is the new building and we hope to have it within the next year”.
The boys national school has been approved for a third teacher due to the increase in numbers.
“We have a design team employed to do preparatory work for the amalgamation. Numbers are at peak now and they are growing. The community has expanded and we’re trying to meet that. The boys’ school is currently a two teacher, two classroom school and the girls’ school is also very tight for space”.
Cllr Sweeney said that various teachers, principals, parish priests and parents’ councils have been lobbying TDs and governments over the years.
“It was Ruaidhri Quinn’s wish that small schools amalgamate. We are very anxious to pursue it and we’ll be optimistic about it”, she said.