Hopes are high that the building of a new €2.3 million primary school in Lackagh could start as soon as next summer. The Department of Education are understood to be very happy with the planning permission granted last weekend by Galway County Council having no conditions attached that could cause a delay.
The Board of Management of School Naomh Bhríde has been granted permission for the new two storey school building to replace the existing school, most of which is now housed in a campus of pre-fabs. The new school will include a new access road with a set-down area, staff and visitor car park and play areas.
The decision has been welcomed by everyone involved with the school and principal Michael Lydon says pupil numbers are growing so rapidly that by next summer, when it is hoped that the new building will be shovel-ready, they will have a further increase in numbers to require eight teachers.
“Planning permission is for an eight-teacher school with general purpose room and ancillary room with an area of 1,570m2.
“Tender documents will now be prepared by the design team and sent to the department for approval. That will take a few months before they get to the stage of advertising for tenders but it is all systems go now and we are so pleased with this progress,” says Michael.
He added that there has been a big increase in population in the area according to the 2011 census.
“The current enrolment is 200 and that is projected to rise to 240 by 2018, while our projected enrolment intake for next year alone indicates that we will have the numbers for an eight-teacher school by September,” he added. He thanked all the local TDs and councillors for their assistance and support in bringing the project to this stage.
As the school has so much green space around it, construction can go ahead while the pupils can remain on in the present buildings, which will then be demolished when everything is ready for the move into the new school. There are fifteen conditions attached to the planning permission including a stipulation that a revised design be submitted to the Roads Department taking into account any pedestrian access concerns.
The developer must also facilitate an archaeological appraisal of the site.