Department go-ahead for Avondale extension
Rathdrum school will be able to cater for almost 200 more students
Avondale Community College has been approved by the Department for a large extension which will double the size of the Rathdrum school.
The Department of Education and Skills has confirmed that the planned extension will increase the school's current capacity of 562 students to 750 students.
A meeting between the school's Board of Management and the Department of Education and Skills is due to take place over the coming weeks to iron out any further details and establish a planned time frame for the works. A planning application for the development will then be lodged.
Jimmy O'Shaughnessy, Chairman of the Board of Management at Avondale Community College, says the school is in need of expansion, especially considering the level of construction taking place in Rathdrum.
'There are 200 houses currently being built in Rathdrum so it is important that Avondale Community College is able to keep pace with developments taking place locally. This will double the size of the school and has to be welcomed as great news.
'The school catered for 275 students when it first opened in 1992 and an extension carried out in 2007 allowed the school to accommodate 562 students from the wide hinterland and catchment area. With the huge level of development taking place in Rathdrum, you could see student levels reaching close to 900 in the coming years,' said Mr O'Shaughnessy.
The extension of the school will also require the use of a green field area on the site but the Bord of Management plan to engage in future talks with local landowners.
'The green field area on the site will disappear to cater for any new extension that might be required in the future, and this will leave restricted recreation area for the students, With this in mind the Board of Management of Avondale Community College and the Principal of the college are seeking more land,' confirmed Mr O'Shaughnessy.