Assurances are being made that the use of a former office building as a gaelcholáiste in a Co Cork town will only be a temporary measure.
Agriculture Minister and local TD Simon Coveney said there had been some concerns about the planned accommodation of the new second-level school at Waterpark House in Carrigaline
“I would like to assure everyone that this is just a temporary solution and that the permanent campus for Gaelcholáiste Charraig Uí Leighin is on track,” he said.
Cork Education and Training Board (CETB) chief executive Ted Owens said it is close to getting Department of Education approval to lodge a planning application with Cork County Council for a three-school campus at Ballinrea on the city side of the town.
Among the buildings planned is a permanent home for the new 500-student all-Irish second-level, as well as a primary gaelscoil and a special school.
Although the department expects the gaelcholáiste building to be ready by September 2016, the ETB is more cautious.
The project has, however, been included in Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan’s list of developments due to begin construction this year.
As patron of the gaelcholáiste, the ETB is taking enrolments and applied for planning permission on December 11 to change office space at Waterpark House to educational use.
With the help of a €50,000 grant from the department, it is planned to refurbish it to provide classrooms, and to make changes to parking areas for outdoor recreational space.
The building near the recently-extended Carrigaline Community School includes a period house and modern office extension, and was previously headquarters of the Shipton Group development company.
“Waterpark House is an absolutely perfect building and location for our temporary gaelcholáiste,” said CETB chief executive Ted Owens.
“The new school will open in September 2015 in order to meet the growing needs of the Carrigaline region and enrolments are now being taken.
“I will also be applying to the Department of Education for permission to appoint a principal and teaching staff in the coming months.”
A new Catholic second-level school, under the patronage of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust, is also planned for Carrigaline.
Cork ETB is awaiting confirmation from the department that a site has been bought for a new community college in the East Cork town of Carrigtwohill.
It will be under joint patronage of the ETB and the Catholic diocese of Cloyne, and is officially scheduled to open in September 2016.
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