Loreto campus 'will bring new energy to area'
THE NEW Loreto Girls Secondary School, work on which is due to start by next summer, will be the first new secondary school built from scratch in the town since the Christian Brothers in the mid-1870s.
The Loreto development on a greenfield site, once earmarked for housing and a nursing home, will see the creation of a two- and three-storey school building with state-of-the-art educational and sports facilities.
There were no objections to the 900-student school which will be built off the Duncannon Road at Ballynagee and which it is hoped will open by December 2016.
Principal Billy O'Shea said he was both delighted for future generations of students and teachers and for Wexford town which will reap a major economic benefit and jobs boost from the construction of the multi-million euro school. The 10.3 acre site is bounded to the east by the Whiterock residential estates, to the south and west by agricultural land and to the north by the R733 Duncannon Road.
The school will have a full-size GAA pitch, hockey pitch, three ball courts, car and cycle parking and a drop off area.
The school building itself, which will be sub-divided into two district blocks, will range from two to three storeys, with the physical education hall providing direct access to the GAA and hockey pitches.
A planning report says the new school will greatly enhance the immediate locality and create a new energy to the area in keeping with the Wexford Development Plan 2013-2019.
The site had planning permission for a mixed use development and a private nursing home which was not constructed.
Mr O'Shea said the next step was for the National Development Finance Agency, which is project managing the development, to put the new building out to tender. 'That's a long enough process and it will have to run its course, but we're on course for the construction to begin in the summer of 2015 with an estimated completion 18 monnths down the line. That should see us moving into the new school in December 2016,' said Mr O'Shea.
'We're thrilled with the design and thrilled with what's on offer for future generations of pupils and teachers.'
Vehicular access to the school will be provided by a dedicated exit off the R733 roundabout to the north of the site.
This will lead to an internal roundabout which sub-divides the staff's vehicles from parents' vehicles. The staff car park, to the east of the main entrance, and will accommodate 90 car spaces.
The students' set down area is to the west and will facilitate student drop off and collection, school bus set down areas and service and visitor access.
Pedestrian and bicycle access is provided by gates along the northern boundary.
The design of the school has been influenced by existing site conditions and the local authority's master plan for the area which includes a civic centre to the north west, a new road from the R733 running parallel to the west of the site, with a residential zone proposed to the north and the east, which will be accessed through the new road to the north of the site serving the school.
The new Loreto campus is being built as part of a PPP (Public-Private Partnership) stimulus package to replace existing schools with new accommodation.
Twelve educational establishments are being built as part of the PPP bundles in counties Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, Meath, Kildare, Clare, Tipperary, Cork and Meath, to accomodate more than 8,650 students including those at the Loreto.