After two years of delays, pupils at one of Cork city’s most prestigious secondary schools look set to finally move into their long-awaited new school building.
Scoil Mhuire school management have confirmed they are “due to receive the keys” to the new facilities within weeks.
Construction work at the 400-pupil fee-paying school on Wellington Road began in autumn 2012 but the project completion date had to be repeatedly postponed due to legal and planning delays.
“Like many building projects, especially when we are redeveloping so close to other buildings in a built-up residential area, there have been some unforeseen obstacles and some delays, which were beyond our control,” said school principal, Regina Butler.
In the meantime, children at the €3,300 per year school have been attending classes in temporary accommodation nearby.
“The plan is that the facilities will be completed before staff return to the school, with the students moving in at the earliest opportunity. Our main focus now is to prepare for the new school term with the least amount of disruption to students and staff as well as to our neighbours — just like we have worked so hard to do for the past two years,” said Ms Butler.
The Department of Education is funding the school building on a 50% basis, as is standard practice during capital works at fee-charging schools. “The school is the client and has a contract in place with the building contractor. The school has kept the Department informed of progress and the delays on the project,” a department spokesman said.
There was uproar at the outset of the construction project in 2012 when parents at the school were told the girls would have to re-locate to temporary premises at Sunbeam, Blackpool on the city’s northside. Up to 50 angry parents attended a meeting at a Cork hotel where they outlined their opposition to the planned move. Within weeks, an agreement was reached with the landlord to continue renting to the school for another year. He had initially refused to renew the contract when the school asked for further renovation work.
In recent years, Scoil Mhuire has operated from three old houses at Sydney Place on Wellington Road.
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