Major grant to cover cost of dividing Community College into two schools
TRALEE Comunnity College has been awarded a major capital funding grant by the state to cover the cost of the college's upcoming division into two separate schools.
While the exact amount of funding has not been announced, and will not be until the tendering process is complete, a source close to the deal described it as "very substantial."
The funding grant, which is understood to amount to several hundred thousand Euro, will be used to pay for the provision of additional accommodation and completion of refurbishment works at the college, which is to be split into separate secondary and post leaving cert (PLC) colleges.
Due to unprecedented growth in both the second level and PLC sections at Tralee Community College the Board of Management and the Kerry ETB decided to create separate identities for the second level and the PLC College.
From September 2014, the PLC section of Tralee Community College will be known as Kerry College of Further Education while the new second level school will be known as Coláiste Gleann Lí.
Kerry Education and Training Board submitted an application to the Department of Education and Skills in March seeking sanction for funding to complete the necessary building and refurbishment works at the college.
This week the college received confirmation that the necessary funding has now been approved and that the appointment of a design team is being finalised.
It is planned that the building works, which are expected to get underway in the coming months, will be completed in two phases.
Phase one will include the provision of specialist rooms for nursing, culinary skills and beauty therapy as well as lecture halls and general classroom accommodation.
Phase two will include the complete upgrade of outdoor play facilities, installation of lift, upgrading of IT facilities and the construction of additional specialist accommodation.
Kerry ETB Chairman Cllr Jim Finucane welcomed the news.
"The creation of separate local identities for the educational programmes at the college represents a new chapter in its continued development. Confirmation of the approval of substantial funding for the renovations and building works is a very significant announcement for the management, staff, students of the college and Tralee. Kerry ETB looks forward to the completion of the renovation works in the coming months, which will provide enhanced facilities for staff and students and create employment opportunities locally."