Details of the work, to be completed by Sept 2013, were announced yesterday at Ashton School on the Blackrock Road in Cork City.
The current building will be replaced with a modern, three-storey school.
The new development will integrate the gracious Georgian building, known affectionately as ‘the old building’ with the sports hall.
Students and staff were delighted to hear principal Adrian Landen announce the project, sanctioned by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, which will provide continuity for generations of Aston students into the future.
The structure will have significant glass frontage and contain advanced science laboratories, dedicated art rooms, language rooms, a library and woodwork, metalwork and technical drawing rooms.
The sports hall will also be totally refurbished.
The school was opened on its current site in 1972 and is one of only five Protestant comprehensive schools in the country.
Church of Ireland Bishop Paul Colton, who is joint patron of the school with Cork City VEC, said there was a lot of excitement among pupils following the announcement and recalled his days as a past pupil of Ashton.
“A building doesn’t make a school, although we’re delighted by this news; it’s what goes into it [pupils and staff] that matters,” Bishop Colton said.