Wicklow secondary school submits planning application to increase student capacity to 1,000

An artist’s impression of the new design for St Kevin’s Community College.

Cllr Avril Cronin.

thumbnail: An artist’s impression of the new design for St Kevin’s Community College.
thumbnail: Cllr Avril Cronin.
Myles BuchananWicklow People

St Kevin’s Community College in Dunlavin has submitted a planning application for a new build project that will see the school increase its capacity to 1,000 students.

The project will include the demolition of the school single storey building which dates back to 1988 and the removal of the temporary classroom accommodation and the refurbishment of part of the existing two-storey new school building and the construction of a three-storey extension (c. 8,023sq.m), including classrooms, a Special Education Needs (SEN) unit, library and administrative and ancillary spaces.

The project will also include the development of a central activities space and dining hall, as well as the development of external play and amenity areas including the provision of two new multiuse games areas (MUGA), outdoor classroom, a biodiversity area, a SEN external play area and the relocation of existing sports pitch.

Principal Brian Doran said: “It’s a very exciting time for the school. The design team has gone through all the different phases to get us to the planning stage. The last works carried out in the school were back in 2008 when accommodation was provided for up to 550 students. We are a growing school so being able to increase our accommodation to 1,000 students is very welcome.

“We are hopeful that Wicklow County Council will look favourably upon our application. It’s an excellent acknowledgement of the good work getting carried out at St Kevin’s by both staff and students. It’s great news for Dunlavin and for the surrounding hinterland.”

The existing set-down area adjoining the R412 regional road will be upgraded for cars only and a new bus set-down area in the northwest portion of the site will be provided utilising the existing

access off the R412 regional road.

200 sheltered bicycle spaces will be provided and solar photovoltaic panels will be located at roof level.

Cllr Avril Cronin used to attend the school and has welcomed the latest development.

"As a former pupil and a member of the board of management of St Kevin' Community College, I am delighted to see that the planning application has been submitted for the much needed extension to the school.

“There is a huge demand for school places in the area. St Kevin's Community College cater for a wide catchment area of West Wicklow and East Kildare and the demand for places at the school is only going to increase in the future. This new extension will alleviate some of this pressure as will cater for up to 1,000 pupils and also includes SEN base classrooms .

“This is a huge development for Dunlavin and indeed the wider West Wicklow area. The school has a very bright future and this new development is very exciting for future students and of course the Principal and the staff at the school who constantly strive to provide the best possible education and supports to their students."

The classrooms are to provide new facilities for General teaching spaces, Construction Studies, Engineering, Science, Art, Home Economics, Design and Communication Graphics and a four-classroom SEN base with ancillary spaces.