Clonakilty based Fine Gael TD Jim Daly has received confirmation from the Department of Education that a design team is to be appointed to design the extension for Clonakilty Community college in the coming weeks ahead of construction commencing on the project in 2015. Speaking to West Cork People this week, Jim Daly welcomed the announcement, which was made following the completion of a revised schedule of accommodation to include a Special Educational Needs unit in the new extension.
“Clonakilty Community College has waited far too long for its extension, I am determined to commit my full energies to ensure this project proceeds as a priority for the building unit in the Department of Education. The appointment of a design team is a significant step towards achieving this goal,” stated the Fine Gael TD.
Clonakilty Community College is a co-educational school, which caters for over 630 pupils and includes a Gaelcholaiste. The school currently has to use additional classrooms in the old Technical school, which is located some distance away on Western Road at the other end of the town of Clonakilty. The school has been looking for an extension to deal with the overcrowding issue for more than ten years. The school was included in the 5 year Schools Capital building plan announced by Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn in March 2012. The Plan unveiled by the Minister listed 275 major school buildings to commence between 2012 and 2016 at a cost of €1.5 billion. The extension to Clonakilty Community College is listed on this plan to commence in 2015.
The local Fine Gael TD is scathing in his criticism of what he describes as “wanton neglect” of educational infrastructure during the so-called Celtic tiger era. “During the boom when we were building houses on every crossroads and the Government was obsessed with construction, one in every five students was being taught in a pre fab. It didn’t say much for our values as a society,” stated the former School Principal, who went on to commend this Government’s investment in education. “In spite of the loss of our economic sovereignty and reliance on the Troika for funding, Clonakilty has got a new Gaelscoil and a very significant extension to Knockskeagh NS in the past year. This investment in our children’s future in Clonakilty will be complemented by the provision of the long overdue extension to the Community College,” concluded Jim Daly.