St Aidan's Parish primary school in Enniscorthy has been given authorisation from the Department of Education to proceed to tender for the development of a new ASD unit that is expected to cost in excess of €1m to complete.
The news was welcomed by school Principal, Frank Murphy, who described it as 'fantastic' and Minister Paul Kehoe, who said the development will cost 'a substantial amount of money'.
Mr Murphy said that while the final figure has not yet been ascertained the project will be cost 'in excess of €1m' to complete.
'It's been three years since the main school was completed and this will enable the whole campus to be finished,' Mr Murphy told this newspaper.
While an 'ideal scenario' would see the unit completed by October Mr Murphy said it's 'very much expected' to be built 'within the calendar year'.
Once it's completed Mr Murphy said the new unit will be able to cater for an additional ASD class.
The school already has a waiting list of parents hoping to get their child into the school.
'Each class has a maximum of six places and we have an extensive waiting list for the school from within the wider area,' he said.
The new unit will be developed in what was the old school hall which, by Mr Murphy said is 'widely regarded as a bit of an eyesore'.
'The new unit will have plenty of space as well and it will have its own safe play area,' he said.
Minister Kehoe had worked with the school in trying to secure funding for the new unit to be developed and in welcoming the news that the project is to go tender stage he said it will make a massive difference for the school.
'This is something I have been working on for quite some time with the Minister for Education,' said Minister Kehoe.
'This is very welcome news and it will allow more families access to special education needs for their children,' he said.
Minister Kehoe, whose three children attend St Aidan's Primary School, said it's a fantastic education provider for everyone who attends.
In a letter from the Department and seen by this newspaper, authorisation was given for the project to go to Stage 3 (tender action).
Meanwhile Mr Murphy said that ideally work will begin on the project towards the end of term leading up to the summer holidays.
'The preferred scenario would be having the builder on-site in May or June and that should enable the work to be completed by October,' he said.