Progress for new secondary school building in Edenderry welcomed
Sinn Fein TD Brian Stanley has said "some progress is now being made with the new building for Oaklands Community College in Edenderry."
“In recent months I have been making representations to the Minister for Education and his Department to have the “service level agreement" with Laois/Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB) signed off on.
"This has now been completed which allows for the project to be moved on to the preparation stages for construction at the 12-acre site on the New Link Road," Stanley said.
The school will be built on the site of the unfinished Downshire Hotel development which was abandoned following the economic downturn in 2008.
“Laois/Offaly ETB are currently processing the tender for the design of the new building and doing the necessary preparation work. I am informed that this will be completed early in the New Year. Within months a design team should be in place," Deputy Stanley explained.
“I have been contacted by several parents in the Edenderry area who are concerned about the accommodation in the school. This is totally inadequate for the almost 800 pupils who attend it and there is a complete over-reliance on prefabs.
"The town of Edenderry and North Offaly, in general, has been lacking in Government investment over recent decades. At the same time, there is a massive increase in the population of the town and the hinterland, in particular over the past 15 years.
"This, in turn, has put increasing pressure on public services. The approval for construction of the new secondary school to cater for 1000 pupils is a badly needed and welcome development in the area.
"It is important the Department of Education ensures that the project advances through the various stages in a timely manner."