On Thursday next September 20th, enrolment forms will be issued for prospective students for Coláiste Bhaile Chláir—Claregalway College—the new post-primary school that will open in Claregalway in September 2013.
Steady progress is being made regarding plans to open the new school according to the Chairman of County Galway VEC Pat Gilmore.
“We want to progress as quickly as possible with getting a Board of Management together and the VEC will be asking the Department of Education to appoint a principal at the earliest possible date,” says Pat.
“Talks will also take place with the Department regarding the provision of accommodation and we have arranged an information evening for parents and guardians on Wednesday October 10th.
The VEC Chairman also said that after the enrolment forms become available on Thursday week it is also planned to have the form in schools in the area. Completed enrolment forms are to be sent to the VEC by Friday October 19th.
A number of locations for the initial accommodation for the new community college have been suggested including one at the community grounds close to the local community centre.
“Trustees with the GAA club and the Community Centre have given their agreement to locate the initial accommodation there, if this is what is desired or required by the patron, Co Galway VEC and the Department,” says Dr Tobin.
He added that while there are a number of other potential locations, there seems to be a preference for having the school close to existing community facilities, such as the hall and playing pitches. But he said all this will be subject to discussions with the VEC and the Department and as soon as agreement is reached they will have to apply for planning permission. The grounds near the community centre comprise six or seven acres and it is understood that a number of potential footprints for the initial accommodation have already been identified there.
The formal announcement for providing the new school was made by Minister Rúairí Quinn on the day before the cabinet went into its summer recess in July.
“We are delighted that the VEC has been appointed as patron and the committee is completely confident of the new school being in operation by September 2013,” said Dr Tobin.
Most schools start their enrolment process a year in advance and the Claregalway committee, if required, will be abailable to assist the BEC with the enrolment procedure.
It is expected that there will be an initial enrolment of approximately 120 students bu the CEO of Co Galway VEC, Joe McDonagh says it is expected that the new college will eventually cater for up to 800 students.
He said the gho-ahead for the school in July was “in essence a victory fo the power of the people of Claregalway” who had been speaking out fo the facility.
“They spoke in huge numbers at many public meetings and their assiduous and meticulous preparatory work initially facilitated the granting of the post-primary school for the Claregalway area,” he added.
“Co Galway VEC will communicate on a regular basis with the Claregalway Parents Second-Level School Action Committee,” he added.
Joe McDonagh also said that it is testament to the trust that Minister Rúairí Quinn and his Department have in Co Galway VEC that the body was appointed as patron for “this exciting project”.
He also praised the efforts of all local and national public representatives in the area in the campaign for the new school. Local TD Noel Grealish has already welcomed that the enrolment forms are to be available next week.
The CEO also said he was aware that the Department, in association with Galway Co Council, is currently involved in a process of acquiring a site for the school.
It is expected that representatives of the Department will be in contact with officials of Galway Co Council soon in relation to the provision of the site for the initial accommodation for the new school.