Work has finally begun on the €7 million development of a new secondary school in Tulla and the first signs of diggers and a compound being erected has been met with delight locally.
The project will see St Joseph’s Secondary School moving to a new greenfield site. Works include the development of a new two-storey 650 pupil school building, comprising 26 specialist classrooms, 10 general classrooms, a PE hall, a general purpose hall, kitchenette and offices, staff areas, a two-class special needs unit, sanitary and ancillary accommodation.
Site works that are underway include the demolition of an existing derelict farm compound and further works include the provision of 48 car parking spaces, with accessible parking via a new ‘in-out’ access point from the R462 public road, as well as pedestrian access and pick-up facilities.
Construction is expected to take somewhere between 12 to 14 months to complete.
Tulla-based TD, Timmy Dooley said, “Having worked tirelessly with others on this project over the last number of years, I’m delighted that work on the new school is finally getting underway. Not only will it see the development of a two-storey state-of-the-art building, playing pitches and sports courts at the school, the construction phase will see the employment of around 100 people”.
“I was very pleased to have worked with Sr Canice from the Sisters of Mercy, former principal, Jim Cooney and current principal, Margaret O’Brien, all of whom worked extremely hard to ensure that this project reached fruition,” Deputy Dooley added.
Councillor Joe Cooney, chairperson of the Killaloe Municipal District, said “this will be a fine facility”.
“The existing playing facilities and school have been in poor condition for a number of years and credit is due to the staff who have taught here over the past number of years in tough circumstances. Great credit is also due to all the who campaigned very hard in bringing this project to this stage. The new state-of-the-art school and playing facilities and associated site works are going to be a major boost for both the staff and the students of Tulla and the surrounding catchment area into the future. This is also a timely boost for construction in the area, as this is a major project and, hopefully, local people will be employed in the construction stage and that there will also be a spin-off for local businesses, which should be a major boost for the East Clare area and Mid-West area,” he said.
The project is part of a public/private partnership and the Tulla school forms one of four schools in a bundle sanctioned by the Department of Education this year.