€16m building to meet boom in pupil numbers
A €16m building contract has been signed for a 1,000-pupil second-level school, which has been in temporary premises for a number of years.
Work on the state-of-the-art facility for Coláiste Chú Chúlainn, Dundalk, Co Louth, which operates under the patronage of the Louth and Meath Education and Training Board, is expected to be completed by summer 2018, with students taking up occupation in September of that year. The school currently has about 280 pupils.
The accommodation will include a two-classroom autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) unit.
The new school development, which will be located on lands opposite the Marshes Shopping Centre in the town, will also include a football pitch, public park and playground.
The baby boom since the late 1990s has given rise to the need for more buildings, both new schools and extensions, to cater for growing enrolments.
While much of the spending under the school building programme between 2012 and 2016 was on providing enough spaces to meet the surge in primary level demand, there is now a switch in focus to catering for the bulge in second-level numbers.
Second-level schools currently cater for about 350,000 pupils, a figure that is expected to continue growing until 2025, to a peak of about 411,000.