PLANNING permission is being sought to develop a new school building for the pupils of Raheen Wood Steiner School providing a permanent four-classroom structure on site in Tuamgraney.
The application is being made by Cooleenbridge Ltd on behalf of Raheen Wood Steiner School and is currently being assessed by Clare County Council.
The proposed development includes the construction of a new school building, four classrooms and auxiliary spaces; permission to relocate two auxiliary classroom prefabs within the site; permission to retain a temporary building consisting of four classrooms and auxiliary spaces and permission for retention of an auxiliary classroom building.
Suzanne Sturton, chairperson of Cooleenbridge Ltd and parent of a pupil at the school, outlined the reason this is being sought and said a past pupil of the school will be involved in its construction.
“It is not so much as the growth really as the need for the school. It’s really the fact that the school has been in prefabricated buildings for a number of years. The kindergarten building is a beautiful solid permanent building but the remainder of the school has been housed in prefabs, which we had been kindly donated by the University of Limerick many years ago. Really, it was a matter for a real need for the children to be housed in a permanent building. Certainly well overdue but we are delighted to be at this stage,” she said.
Both Cooleenbridge Ltd and the board of management at the school, are looking forward to this project coming to fruition and are equally happy to have a past pupil involved in the process as Suzanne explained.
“We are very excited about the project and it is actually quite fitting that one of the past pupils from the school. Miles Sampson, is an eco-architect who has designed the beautiful building and he has been managing the application. It will be an environmentally friendly building. He is past pupil of the school and he now lives between Barcelona and Ireland and is involved in a lot of projects around the country, for example the eco village in Cloughjordan, so it is quite fitting that he is helping us very much with this having sat in those prefabs himself as a child,” she said.
Suzanne added that while the planning application seeks the retention of some of the structures, it is envisaged some of these will not be required in the long term.
“It is really to allow for a transition. It was deemed to be sensible by the architect to put in for temporary buildings to allow us some leeway. It was to do with the extension also of some of the current buildings to ensure that we didn’t end up knocking a building before we have completed the other it is just a practical thing. It is envisaged that many of the buildings there will not be required once the new building is erected,” she added.
The proposed development would follow Department of Education guidelines in relation to the capacity of the classrooms and it is expected that if planning permission is granted and works are completed it will allow for growth within the school.