AFTER several setbacks and delays, the long-awaited development of the new secondary school campus for Coláiste Chiaráin in Croom finally got underway last Friday.
The total cost of the building project will be between €15 and €20 million with construction scheduled for completion by the end of next year.
Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board marked the occasion with a sod-turning ceremony and planting of an oak tree by Coláiste Chiaráin students at the site in Skagh.
Performing the official sod-turning, Minister of State and local TD Patrick O’Donovan said: “This is a fantastic day for Croom and the surrounding areas. After several delays and setbacks we are finally at the stage where the sod can now be turned on the new school.”
“I am delighted for the staff, parents, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board and especially the students of the school. This Government investment is a significant boost for the local area and I wish the contractors well on the project, which I hope will be delivered in a timely and safe way.”
The new school development on the 22-acre (8.9 hectares) site at Skagh, Croom, consists of a two-storey building of almost 10,000m² designed by Healy Partner Architects. The main contractor MMD, appointed in June, is a Cork-based construction company, which has a wide range of experience and expertise in many types of construction projects, including schools.
The campus will incorporate over 60 teaching spaces, which will facilitate delivery of the widest-possible curriculum to 850 students. The development of pitches and external play areas on the site, together with a full-sized PE Hall will enable a diverse range of extra-curricular activities on the new school campus. In addition, the inclusion as part of the project of a Special Education Needs Unit will ensure that the educational needs of the entire school community are met.
Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr James Collins welcomed the commencement of the project.
“There have been many false dawns in the quest for a new secondary school in Croom but it is now a reality. It is very important that our younger generation and future generations are taught well. We need excellent teachers but we also need excellent facilities. Today is an important day for the school and for Croom,” said Mayor Collins.