Ennis-based Councillor Johnny Flynn has confirmed that €4.5 million is being invested in a new school for CBS Ennis Primary. The new building is scheduled to be completed by September 2017.
An additional €2.5 million euro has been allocated for the development of a new 12-classroom school in Cloughleigh.
Scoil Christ Ri (Cloughleigh School) has 220 pupils, over 55% being taught in pre-fabricated classrooms. The school has experienced numerous closures in recent years due to weather damage and water leaks.
Local Councillor and member of the School’s Board of Management, Johnny Flynn said: “The Board has been working hard with the principal and staff over the last number of years to get approval for a new school. I’m delighted for the pupils and staff that approval has finally been received to proceed with the design and build of a new 12 classroom school.
“The existing building was built on various floor levels in the 1970’s and is totally unsuitable in this day and age in terms of accessibility, sustainability, and the needs of staff and students in a school environment.
“The area that the school is located is a great community in what is a very historical part of Ennis that should have by September 2017 a 21st century school they will be proud off,” he added.
Councillor Flynn, who is a member of the CBS New School Building project team headed by the Principal Dara Glynn, also welcomed the investment in the CBS Primary School.
“As a past pupil and a parent of four past pupils I was aware of the urgent need to get a 21st century “fit for purpose” school for the over 600 pupils and over 30 teachers. CBS in Ennis founded in 1827 and hopefully the new school will be built and occupied by Sept 2017 , nearly 200 years later.
“Senior school still in use was built in 1830 whilst the junior school was built in the 1960s with additions in the 70s and 80s. About a third of the pupils are being educated in prefabs. Increased number of prefabs in recent years to meet the increasing student population has meant a decreased yard play area for the pupils. Due to the type and age of the buildings ongoing repairs are putting a serious burden on the school,” concluded Councillor Flynn.
“It has been a lot of hard work by the principal, staff, board of management and other bodies to get the project to this stage and I was glad to be able to help. It is welcome news that the school is now to be included in the Department of Education’s Rapid Delivery Programme,” said Clare TD Michael McNamara.
“However, there is still a long road ahead. Not every school selected for the Rapid Build Schools programme, which means a uniform design and construction methodology, proves suitable as problems sometimes emerge at planning stage. Nevertheless, subject to planning and site suitability, the new building could be opened as early as 2017,” added the Labour TD.