RATHCORMAC TO GET NEW SCHOOL
Local politicians, teachers, parents and students have all welcomed the news that Rathcormac is to get their much campaigned for and long awaited new school after Minister for Education, Batt O’Keeffe announced on Tuesday the list for the 52 school building project.
The national school in Rathcormac has been authorised to prepare tender documents for the building of a new 12-classroom school with a PE hall and auxiliary accommodation.
The original school, which was built as a 3 classroom unit in 1948 and has now 8 classrooms, has increased its number of portacabins on the site from only one in 1967 to ten in 2010, at a cost of €100,000 per cabin. If that doesn’t strike you as economical, well, it isn’t.
The cabins are far from ideal for both students and teachers due to problems related to temperature regulation, space, storage, noise, cost and health and safety reasons.
School principal, Margaret Howard was delighted with the news. Speaking to The Avondhu she said, “I am absolutely thrilled for the people of Rathcormac. It’s been a long campaign to get better educational facilities.”
“The first step is to apply for planning and I hope that the junior infants, for whom we are taking applications this week, will benefit one day soon from the new school,” Mrs Howard continued.
She finished by thanking all the parents in Rathcormac for the support with the campaign.
Local Fianna Fail Cllr Frank O’Flynn was also happy to welcome the announcement.
He told The Avondhu, “I brought the minister down on March 9 in 2009 to see the conditions first hand and to meet with the parents, children and teachers. The minister’s visit was of great benefit. I wish them the best of luck.”
The Department of Education and Science purchased the site where the new school is to be built in 2006.
Cllr Pa O’Driscoll has welcomed the announcement from the Department of Education that the next step in the process to construct a new national school in Rathcormac has been taken.
Speaking to The Avondhu about the announcement Cllr. O’Driscoll said, “This is an encouraging announcement. Scoil Bhride has become a national news story because of the lack of permanent accommodation, and the ridiculous amount of money being spent on the renting of Portakabins.
"The decision by the Department of Education to allow the board of management to take the next step in the process to construct a new school is to be welcomed. The planning and preparation of tender documents will hopefully be a hassle free process, and when complete I expect that the final authorisation to construct will be given by the minister.”
He continued, “I don’t need to highlight the conditions in the existing school as these are well known at this stage. What I do want to highlight is the great work that has been done by the principal, Margaret Howard, the board of management, staff and parents association to make the unacceptable conditions as comfortable as possible for the children.
"They also deserve a lot of praise for the work that has been done to lobby for a new school, and it is this work that will ultimately be rewarded when the new building is finally constructed.”
Cllr O’Driscoll went on to tell The Avondhu, “Rathcormac has seen massive growth in the last number of years. That growth has put enormous pressure on the school, and this is finally being recognised, and hopefully by the end of the year remedied if the minister gives the green light for construction.”
Other councillors have welcomed the news as well with Cllr Tom Barry commenting, “I now expect that Minister O’Keeffe will deliver on his promise. We have had wheelbarrows of promises up to now, all hot air and no substance.”
According to Cllr Tom Barry it is difficult to believe any pledge from this government who bought the last general election on economic promises and delivered a recession.
Cllr Tom Barry said with 100,000 young kids due to start primary school over the next 10 years it is actual construction is needed on a large scale to service the existing and growing demand in our primary system.
Also welcoming the announcement was Cork East Labour TD, Sean Sherlock, who said, “The news of the advancement is welcome, and comes following months of work both from the public campaign by parents and the behind the scenes work carried out by local officials. I have lobbied the minister for this advancement for months now and am glad that the school can now prepare the tender documents for a new school building.”
Deputy Sherlock concluded, “I will, however, continue to work on this matter and will not be fully satisfied until ground is broken for the new school site. I now hope that the Department will be forthcoming with funding in a manner that facilitates the swift construction of the new building.”
Friday 19th February 9:57am