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School building infrastructure completed

 Ennis National School principal Ray McInerney with Bishop Willie Walsh viewing the newly completed access road at the site for the proposed new Ennis National School at Ashline. Also included are members of the Ennis pastoral council, school board of management and engineering and building contractors. Photograph by John KellyESSENTIAL infrastructure, which paves the way for the next phase of development of the new Ennis National School at Ashline on the Kilrush Road, was completed this week.
The project, costing just over €1 million, has been funded jointly by the Diocese of Killaloe and Ennis parish with assistance from the National Roads Authority through Clare County Council.
It includes the completion of a road that provides access from the main Kilrush Road to the proposed site of the new school.
The board of management of Ennis National School, under the patronage of Bishop Walsh, has spent many years working to achieve sanction from the Department of Education for the new school.
“The diocese and Ennis parish expect that the provision of the site on diocesan lands, together with the funding and completion of the access road, should help convince the Department of Education of the commitment shown by the diocese and parish to bring plans for the new school to fruition as quickly as possible.
“The provision of the new school is sorely needed at this time as the current site is seriously overcrowded and has excessive temporary accommodation. It is my hope that the commitment shown by the diocese and parish will enhance the case being made by the board of management for funding,” Bishop Willie Walsh said.
Fr Tom Hogan, Ennis parish administrator, added that they are waiting for the department to give the official go-ahead to the school.
“This week saw the completion of necessary services for the school, including water, sewerage and broadband, which have been provided by the diocese for the school. The site was officially handed over to us this week,” he added.
The next phase of the school-building programme will be the appointment of a new architectural team, as designers Murray Ó Laoire Architects have gone into liquidation.
“Murray Ó Laoire are preparing tender documents and it should not take long for a new team to be in place. Murray Ó Laoire have designed the building and that design will remain but will be seen through to completion by new architects,” he explained.
After that, the construction of the building will go to tender, with building due to commence in September. The expected completion date of the new Ennis National School is September 2011.

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