The delay in progress on the new Ardee Educate Together school to be built at a site in the centre of town was raised at Thursday evening’s Ardee Municipal District committee meeting – as councillors confirmed they are seeking updates on the very latest in regards to the development.
Speaking at the first Municipal meeting of 2018, Independent councillor Jim Tenanty requested a progress report on the Part 8 process in connection with the ETS school new build.
“It’s gone past the stage where the department should be writing to the school and giving them a date for work to start,” Tenanty said.
“They are working out of three rooms. It’s not fair on the kids and it’s not fair on the staff,” he continued. I think we should maybe write to the Department ourselves.”
Fine Gael councillor Dolores Minogue added that he had spoken with Education Minister Richard Bruton on the issue of the new school, saying she is waiting on an update.
The proposed new Ardee Educate Together school has been years in the development stages – and has been approved by the Department of Education. It will be built on a four-acre site on the sprawling grounds of St Joseph’s Hospital – however 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 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.
According to Louth County Council, the land acquisition from the HSE is “progressing” while a design team is appointed and Stage 2A Design has been completed and agreed with the Department of Education and Skills.
A development carried out by a Local Authority is often referred to as a ‘Part 8’ development, referring to Part 8 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended) which sets out the procedure for carrying out such developments.