Castlecomer Community School
Kilkenny’s biggest rural second-level school is about to get bigger, with a nine-classroom extension granted for Castlecomer Community School.
The project is now out to tender for the appointment of the design team. Once that process is complete, the appointed team of architects, engineers and quantity surveyors will work with school management to bring this vision to reality.
Acting Principal of Castlecomer Community School Pat Murphy says that as well as being an exciting development for the school, it is a huge boost of confidence for staff and students alike.
“We are unique in being the only community school in Kilkenny,” said Mr Murphy.
“It is a visionary educational model that was served our community well over the last three decades and this development rubber stamps that reputation now and into the future.”
Based on a projected enrolment of 750 pupils, this development will cater for an area that is positioning itself as a hub for the north of the county. Castlecomer Community School has a catchment that extends across the parishes of Castlecomer, Conahy, Coon, Muckalee, Ballyragget, Clogh, Moneenroe and out as far as Newtown.
The new €3.6 million development will consist of three general classrooms, one home economics room, two design and graphics rooms, one textiles room, one science lab with preparation area, one arts and crafts room with storage as well as ancillary facilities including locker space and a data communication centre.
“Castlecomer Community School has always worked towards upgrading our facilities to make sure our students get a state of the art education,” Mr Murphy said.
“Our most recent development has been the completion of our sports centre at a cost approaching €1 million. It is a facility used by both school and community groups. What always strikes me is how amazed visitors to our school are when they see this facility in place. It is the envy of many.”
Thinking of the late principal Séamus O’Connor, Mr Murphy said both he and Mr O’Connor had been working on this project for a number of years. “I know he would be very proud of this exciting development,” he said.
Local TDs echoed their sentiments, with Minister of State Malcolm Noonan (Green Party) saying he was delighted to hear about the funding for the much needed expansion.
“It will future proof this valuable asset to the wider Castlecomer area and I am happy to help in securing it,” he said.
“It has been a tough few months for the school and I hope this will serve as a testament to the good work done by all its staff and students.”
Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan described it as a most welcome boost, not only to the school but to the whole hinter land of Castlecomer.
“I am delighted to be able to help in developing education in the area in this way,” he said.
Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness said it was a testament to all the great work done past and present in Castlecomer Community School.
“Education is key to the development of our country and society moving forward and this is an example of our administration’s commitment to education,” he said. “I wish them every success in this venture”.
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