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New Ardee Educate Together build “one step closer” to start

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Fergus O'Dowd and Dolores Minogue at the Ardee Educate Together school.
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This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

Hopes abound that the proposed new Ardee Educate Together school in Ardee is “one step closer”, according to Fine Gael Deputy Fergus O’Dowd.

The proposed 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.

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Today, O’Dowd said that the Department of Education has recently received a Stage 2A report for the build, saying that the report is with the technical team for review and that a 2A meeting will is set to take place in the near future between Louth County Council, the Design Team and officials from the Department of Education.
 “My colleague and Ardee resident, Fine Gael Councillor Dolores Minogue has been working extremely hard behind the scenes pushing for this project,” he said. “Cllr Minogue recently raised concerns with me on the length of time the project planning was taking and I immediately raised the concerns with the Minister Bruton’s office. I hope now after the 2A meeting we will be one step closer to finally getting the project started.”

 

Currently, the school is located at it’s small building on the Dundalk Road, which also includes additional prefab units. The school opened in 2002 with 23 pupils but as of the 2016/17 academic year, it had 137 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.

Minogue, who has previously said that parents and children urgently need a pedestrian crossing at the current building, was happy with the update but reiterated her stance that ensuring safety of parents and children now is critical.

“I’m delighted to see some progress has been made on the school,” she said. “I have again raised the significant safety concerns with the Council in relation to students crossing the pedestrian crossing on the Dundalk Rd. The council engineer visited the site last year but unfortunately decided that there wasn’t enough children using the pedestrian crossing to warrant a school traffic warden.

“This is unacceptable to me and I have asked for it be reviewed again this year. The council have again inspected the site and I’m awaiting the decision.”

Earlier this year, Independent councillor Jim Tenanty 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. He 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.

He was told that part of the design will link the new school to the Ashwalk which “should take a good amount of the school traffic.”

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