Colaiste Dún an Rí extension gets approval

Funding has been allocated for a project that will double the size of the existing Colaiste Dún an Rí secondary school in Kingscourt.

Deputy Brendan Smith and Cllr Clifford Kelly (FF) this evening welcomed the decision by the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, who is expected to visit the county in the morning to formally sanction the major extension project.

When Colaiste Dún an Rí was first built five years ago, construction cost €15 million, and the new extension, which will consist of more than 40 new rooms, is expected to cost at least that to deliver.

The proposed extension is needed due to increasing enrolments in the school. The new accommodation will consist of 23 classrooms, two classroom Special Education Needs (SEN) base, five Special Education Teacher (SET) rooms, one DCG room, three Science labs, two prep areas, one Home Economics room, an Art room, a Construction Studies room, an Engineering room, one Tech Prep room, a project store, staff room, and general purpose/dining room.

“Both Councillor Clifford Kelly and I had made strong representations to Minister Foley in relation to the need to progress this application submitted by Cavan Monaghan ETB,” said Deputy Smith.

“This is a very welcome development for the school community in the Kingscourt area. Great credit is due to the ETB, the principal and all his staff colleagues, the Board of Management and the Parents Association. Councillor Clifford Kelly, as Chairman of the Board of Management, is a powerful advocate for this school, which is experiencing huge growth in enrolment. This new accommodation along with the existing school will cater for the projected population growth in the area for many years to come,” he added.

Cllr Kelly meanwhile praised the input of CMETB Chief Executive John Kearney.

He said: “When this school was opened five years ago people doubted we’d even be able to fill capacity then. Now look. I’m happy to be able to prove those people wrong. Kingscourt has always been a vibrant town with a hugely vibrant and young community.”