Jim Tenanty has proposed that the design team in place for the new Ardee Educate Together school on the Kells Road in Ardee consider improving pedestrian access to the new site via the Kells Road.
Speaking at Thursday’s Ardee Municipal District committee meeting, Tenanty said that the footpath leading to the new school “doesn’t serve a purpose” and told council officials present that any design work should look into the possibility of improving the footpath on the busy road.
“The footpath on the Kells Road doesn’t serve a purpose,” he said. “It goes to a hospital but people in a wheelchair can’t use it, people with buggies can’t use it. It’s too narrow and it’s too dangerous. There’s a pole in the middle of the footpath. It’s sloping out on the road and there was almost a fatal crash there.”
Engineer Sean O’Reilly told Independent councillor Tenanty that he would look into it but admitted that parts of the footpath along the road is narrow and there isn’t much scope for widening it. Louth County Council’s Director of Services Joe McGuinness added that part of the design will link the new school to the Ashwalk which “should take a good amount of the school traffic.”
It’s a safety factor – it’s dangerous,” Tenanty added.
The new Ardee Educate Together school has been years in the development stages, and has been approved by the Department of Education, and will be built on a four-acre site on the sprawling grounds of St Joseph’s Hospital. It was originally due to be completed and open for the 2014/15 academic year.
Currently, the school is located at it’s small building on the Dundalk Road, which also includes additional prefab units. The school opened in 2012 with 23 pupils but as of the 2015/16 academic year, it had 124 boys and girls enrolled.
The multi-denominational school welcomes pupils of all faiths and none. In September 2015, two new autism classes opened at the school.