Laois TD demands repairs at school with damp, leaks, electrical dangers

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Laois TD demands repairs at school with damp, leaks, electrical dangers

Scoil Mhuire NS in Abbeyleix needs a range of urgent repairs say engineers

A Laois primary school is calling for urgent repairs to its building backed by Sinn Fein TD Brian Stanley.

Scoil Mhuire NS in Abbeyleix held a public meeting last Tuesday night February 25 where both staff and parents called for repairs.

While it has a modern extension, an engineers report commissioned by the school has confirmed serious building problems.

“Complete reroofing is necessary, the flashing around all skylights is in poor condition and needs to be replaced’’. 

The electrical system is unsafe the report said.

“It is substandard and dangerous work is visible. The ceilings have evidence of leaks from the flat roof. This is a major concern and an electrical hazard, safety issue.’’ 

The building needs complete replumbing.

“As plumbing is outdated and in poor condition causing rising dampness and mould, re-plumbing of entire building is necessary’’.

“Heating system requires immediate attention. Not all systems were functional at time of inspection. Oil burner should be routinely checked by a professional heating technician," the engineers report said.

Deputy Stanley said it should be an urgent matter for the Department of Education.

“The Department must move as a matter of urgency to address the severe problems in Scoil Mhuire Abbeyleix. The conditions that the 316 pupils and their teachers are enduring on a daily basis are intolerable and require immediate action," he said.

He said the school is using state funding meant for daily use to pay for building repairs.

"The Board of Management have been desperately trying to keep repairs carried out to the building, including occasionally patching of the roof and covering the cost by using the School Capitation Grant. This is meant for the day to day running of the school, not carrying out building repairs," he said.

Some funding has this week been confirmed for a roof repair.

"I have been in contact with the Department of Education at a number of different levels, to have funding approved and earlier this week they gave the go ahead for roof repairs on one section of the school. This is inadequate as there are also other immediate problems to be addressed with the sewerage system, plumbing and electrics," Dep Stanley said.

He wants a plan started for new classrooms.

"Both parents and staff that attended the public meeting are rightly demanding that remedial works are carried out. In the longer term the school classrooms need to be replaced. A site to the rear of the school is ideally positioned to cater for the 16 new classrooms required. I am requesting that the new Minister for Education meet with a deputation from the school with a view to getting Scoil Mhuire on the school building programme.’’

The issue was first highlighted by parents at a pre-election public meeting in Portlaoise.

Parents outlined how staff have to use plastic containers to catch leaks in several classrooms. They said toilets are overflowing, and there is inadequate insulation and heating.