Deputy Jan O’Sullivan will get the opportunity to officially open a major new extension and astro-turf pitch for a school she allocated funding to during her most recent stint as Education Minister.
The role played by the Clonlara-born former Labour Minister for Education and Housing in securing funding for Parteen National School will be recognised, when she cuts the tape to officially open the new extension at the school next Friday at 11am.
Deputy O’Sullivan said the new extension was badly needed, following the dramatic increase in the school-going population in recent years.
“Parteen is a growing area and needed a bigger school. It was completed on time and within budget and the teachers, staff and pupils are very happy with their new building,” she added.
The extension, which consists of three new classrooms and five resource rooms, was occupied before the end of the last academic year, much to the delight of students and staff members. The project also involved the temporary location of three existing prefabricated structures during the construction phase, which were subsequently removed on completion of the extension and associated site works.
There are 20 teachers in the school, including the principal, 14 class teachers and five learning support/resource teachers. The staff also comprises five special needs assistants, a full-time secretary, a part-time caretaker and two part-time cleaners.
Clare County Council gave the green light to the new development on March 2, 2015, subject to five planning conditions.
Cathal Quinn of Quinn Architects said the existing school comprised the original seven-classroom building, centrally located on site; a four-classroom extension to the north, constructed in 2012 and 2013; and three prefabricated buildings, adjacent to the north and west boundaries of the site.
In order to retain the majority of the teaching facilities on site, while construction of the new classrooms was taking place, the three prefabricated buildings were temporarily relocated to the south of the site.
Mr Quinn explained that the internal layout of the development is a continuation of the existing extension, which echoes the layout and circulation of the original building, allowing a clear and coherent development, with good connectivity between all parts of the school. He said this new extension strengthens and frames the external courtyard, which was initiated by the previous development in 2012.
“Our approach with the classroom extension design was to create a building that would connect both functionally and visually with the existing school,” he stated.