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School launches building project

PLANS for a new four-classroom extension to Knockanean National School are set to be unveiled this week.
The school will launch its building project at an information meeting this Thursday, which will also see the launch of their ‘buy a brick’ fundraising project.
Following the allocation of funding from the Department of Education and Science last year and the successful planning application, the school’s board of management will reveal plans for a new extension at the launch.  It is hoped building on the new extension can begin in early spring, with the development being put out to tender this week.
The school presently has five prefabs and the board of management’s goal is that all classes, from junior infants to sixth class, will be housed in permanent classrooms.
The four classes will be housed in a new two-storey building located towards the back of the current school.
The classes will be housed in modern, bright and spacious facilities, which will allow for any future expansion.
The present Knockanean school was built in 1949 with a three-classroom extension, storeroom and staff room, opened in 1997. Back in 1999, the school had 130 pupils, this has since doubled to 276 pupils enrolled in 2010.
The information evening is being held this Thursday in Fahy Hall from 8pm to 9pm. Parents of past, present and future pupils and all who are interested in the future of Knockanean National School are invited to attend to see and hear about the plans for the extension. 
The fundraising committee will also launch the Buy a Brick campaign, which will be the main fundraising initiative for the building project. 
As part of the fundraising campaign, people can donate a lump sum towards the project or make standing order contributions. According to the committee, as a national school, Knockanean will be able to claim tax back on any donations by PAYE-paying individuals or family over €250 with the donors permission, significantly increasing the benefit to the school.
“There is a significant shortfall of funds to ensure that all four classrooms are built. We are appealing to all parents, past pupils, guardians and friends of Knockanean National School to support us in our fundraising campaign,” said a spokeswoman for the fundraising committee.
School principal Pat McNamara said, “We now have a grant from the department, planning approved and a fundraising campaign in place. 
“This is the start of a new era for Knockanean National School and we need the support of parents and the community. We would like to invite you to be part of this exciting project and help build our children’s future. On Thursday, we will be showing those at the meeting the plans we have and what is involved.
“We have been talking to the department about this project for quite a number of years and we have had a number of meetings, so we are delighted to get to this stage.
“This will be our most significant building work since 1997 and since then the amount of pupils in the school has doubled.
“I am calling on people to ­support this fundraising campaign, the fundraising committee have been very active over the last number of months and they have been doing tremendous work.
“The public have always been very generous and we are hoping this will continue,” he added.
The school also has plans for future developments, with detailed plans submitted to the Department of Education for the provision of learning support and resource rooms as well as a general-purpose room and a library.
For information on the project and fundraising, contact knockanean.fundraising@gmail.com.

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