Wednesday 17 January 2018

Classes in prefabs - 15 years after promise of new school

Brian McDonald

NEITHER the students nor the staff at Killimor National School are holding their breath, waiting for their new school to be built.

It's now 15 years since the school community in the east Galway village were promised a new building to replace the outdated and overcrowded school, which was built in 1964.

Some classes take place in prefabs; while the principal, Gerard Murray, still works in a converted staff toilet.

After years of frustration, fundraising and eventually acquiring a site, it is not difficult to understand Mr Murray's reluctance yesterday to comment on where the new school project now stands.

He politely referred the Irish Independent to the Department of Education as the department's building unit in Tullamore is, technically the client, not the school's board of management.

A statement from the department said that the project was at "an advanced stage" of architectural planning.

The statement added: "The progression of all large-scale building projects, including this project, from initial design stage through to construction, is dependent on the prioritisation of competing demands on the funding available under the department's capital budget. The project will be considered in the context of the department's multi-annual school building and modernisation programme.

"However, in light of current competing demands on the capital budget of the department, it is not possible to give an indicative timeframe for the progression of the project at this time."

It is understood that a contractor for the enabling works has been appointed. The main enabling work appears to be the removal and relocation of overhead power cables.

A contractor for the actual building work has not been appointed.

Irish Independent

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