independent

Thursday 13 December 2018

Delay to work at St David's

An extension and refurbishment to St David's School in Greystones could be delayed until 2021, with more than 100 pupils failing to get places each year. Wicklow County Council granted permission in 2016 for the works to go ahead, with the plans including a sports centre, five new classrooms, a new technology room and a media room.

There were objections with locals concerned about height and traffic, but An Bord Pleanála gave the project the green light n July 2017, and funding was approved by the Department of Education in December of last year. Deputy Donnelly said that the school principal Mary O'Doherty is growing impatient at repeated delays to get the works started.

She began the planning process back in 2012 and was told the building phase should take around 21 months to conclude.

Since Deputy Donnelly's first request to meet the minister, there has been a cabinet reshuffle. 'We now have a new Minister for Education in Joe McHugh, and yet still no meeting,' said Mr Donnelly. A meeting planned for last Wednesday in the minister's office was called off.

'A phone call was offered in lieu with a mid-ranking official from the Education Department and during the course of that conversation I pressed for a time-line for construction. It appears now that contractors may not be on site until 2020 or 2021,' said Deputy Donnelly.

He said that this delay is 'simply unacceptable 'Anyone who has been offered a place will still be enrolled, but more than 100 other pupils are being turned away each year. The Department of Education had not responded to a request for information at the time of going to press.

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