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Educate Together Blog

Building Progress

Just before the Christmas holidays, the Department of Education and Skills released the latest update on the capital investment programme with details of 70 major school building projects. It brought very welcome news to many in the Educate Together network with no less than 29 Educate Together schools featured on the list of projects. Many of these schools have been campaigning for years for suitable accommodation - the formal announcement of progress is a huge step forward and a great morale boost to the schools’ boards of management, staff, parents and children. These schools join Hansfield ETNS  (Three stream primary (24 classrooms) with ASD unit) and Esker ETNS (two stream primary, 16 classrooms with additional resource and special needs classes) that took delivery of new buildings in 2014. Overall these new construction projects amount to a total investment of at least €100m. 

The announcement is also notable in that it marks a very substantial commitment by the State to the building of a national network of schools that provide equality of access and esteem to children, irrespective of their social, cultural or religious backgrounds. It is a significant development in the work to provide balanced choices for families all across Ireland and to remove the situation in which a growing number of parents continue to be compelled to send their children to faith-based schools against their conscience and lawful preference.

It is very good news with which to celebrate the 2015 New Year.

The schools are:

Ongoing-projects from 2014 (in order of school opening)

Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Alainn, Cork - New 16 classroom school
This school has been operating in temporary accommodation since 1993. The first multi-denominational Gaelscoil in Ireland it serves the Mayfield area in Cork.The school operates with the patronage of An Foras Pátrúnachta and its board of management has been a member of Educate Together since 1999.

Griffith Barracks Dublin 8 - New 16 classroom school
Opened in temporary accommodation in 1994, the school will move to a new temporary home on Clogher Road, Dublin 12  while its new building is erected on its current site. The new building will double the school’s capacity in an area of Dublin where there is very high demand for Educate Together places.

Galway Educate Together, Galway City - 8 classroom extension
This school opened in 1994, with a permanent 8 classroom school provided in 2004.

North Kildare Educate Together, Celbridge, Co. Kildare - 8 classroom extension
Opened in 1994, with permanent 8 classroom school provided in 2003, the new extension was completed before Christmas and the school has recently moved in.

Griffeen Valley Educate Together - 8 classroom extension
Opened in 2002, with a permanent 16 classroom school provided in 2004, this school will grow to 24 classroom capacity in 2015.

Ardee Educate Together NS - New 16 classroom school
Ardee ETNS converted from a Church of Ireland NS in 2002 and since then has been operating in a combination of a small traditional school building and pre-fab temporary buildings. The new building will double its capacity.

Navan Educate Together, Co. Meath  - New 16 classroom school
Navan ETNS opened in 2002 and has occupied three different temporary buildings. The new building will allow it to double in capacity.

Waterford Educate Together, Waterford City - - New 16 classroom school
Waterford ETNS is in its third temporary location since it opened in 2002. The new building will form part of a major educational campus in Waterford including a Gaelscoil and public library.

Kildare Town Educate Together, Kildare Town. - New 16 classroom school
This school opened in 2012 in temporary accommodation provided by the Kildare VEC.

Ballymakenny College, Drogheda, Co. Louth - New 1,000 pupil secondary school
A new community college operating with the joint patronage of Louth Meath ETB and Educate Together, Ballymakenny College opened in 2014 in temporary accommodation provided by Aston Village Educate Together NS.

Hansfield Educate Together Secondary School, Dublin 15 - New 1,000 pupil secondary school
Hansfield ETSS opened in 2014 in temporary accommodation provided by Hansfield Educate Together NS.

Kishoge Community College, Co. Dublin  - New 1,000 pupil secondary school
A new community college, under the patronage of Dublin Dun Laoghaire ETB, in formal partnership with Educate Together. Kishoge CC opened in 2014 in temporary accommodation in Adamstown, Lucan.

15 Projects going into construction in 2015 (in order of school opening)

Glasnevin Educate Together, Dublin 9 - New 16 classroom building with ASD units
Originally the Dublin North Central ETNS, Glasnevin ETNS was opened in 2002 and since then has occupied an 1850 small school building with pre-fabs. The new building will be co-located with Dublin City University’s Green Innovation Centre. 

Wicklow Educate Together, The Murrough, Wicklow - New 16 classroom school
This school opened in an old railway hotel in 2003 and its growth has been severely constrained since then. The new building will allow it to double in capacity.

Limerick Educate Together, Limerick City - New 16 classroom school
Limerick ETNS opened in 2004 and since then has occupied two temporary homes. Now the site of the old Mungret college has been confirmed for its permanent location. This will allow it to grow substantially to a full 16 classroom school.

Mullingar Educate Together NS, Co. Westmeath - New 8 classroom extension
This extension will bring Mullingar ETNS up to a 24 classroom school. Mullingar Educate Together National School was established in 2004. The extension mentioned in this year’s list is for a doubling of its autism facilities to cater for 24 children. It is due for construction in 2015.

Tullamore Educate Together, Co. Offaly - New 8 classroom extension
Opened in 2004, the first stage of the new build was delivered in 2008. This extension will allow the school to expand to 16 classrooms.

Claregalway Educate Together, Co. Galway - New 16 classroom school
Since opening in a converted show-house in 2005, Claregalway ETNS has developed steadily. Now completely outgrown its temporary home, its permanent building is on the 2015 list.

Letterkenny Educate Together, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal - New 24 classroom school with ASD units
Letterkenny ETNS has been in pre-fab buildings since it opened in 2006. 

Midleton Educate Together, Midleton, Co. Cork - New 24 classroom school
Midleton ETNS opened in 2008 and has occupied two temporary buildings since then. The new building will allow it to grow into a full three-stream primary school.

Belmayne Educate Together, Dublin 13 - Dublin 13 - New 16 classroom school with ASD units.
Belmayne ETNS opened in 2008 in temporary accommodation.

Powerstown Educate Together, Dublin 15 - New 16 classroom school
Powerstown ETNS opened in temporary accommodation in 2011.

Ashbourne Educate Together, Co. Meath - New 16 classroom school
Ashbourne opened in 2012 in office space in the local Parish centre before moving to prefabs. 

Citywest Educate Together NS, New 24 classroom school
City West ETNS opened in a converted private school building in 2012 and its new building will accommodate its rapid growth. 

Stepaside Educate Together Co. Dublin - New 24 classroom school
Stepaside ETNS opened in pre-fabs in a local Rugby club in 2012.

Firhouse Educate Together Dublin 24 - New 16 classroom school
Firhouse ETNS opened in 2013 in temporary accommodation in Tymon Bawn Community centre. 

Carrigaline Educate Together - New 600 pupil secondary school

The location of this building is still not clear. It was originally intended to serve the Carrigaline area and is scheduled to open in September 2016.

Schools not mentioned

Unfortunately, we have to note some important omissions. Educate Together schools in Ennis, Tralee and Wexford have been on our building project list for some years. Dublin 7 ETNS is secure in its understanding that it will be accommodated in a new building as part of the new Grangegorman campus or the Dublin Institute of Technology as it develops. Kilcolgan ETNS is working with the DES to find a longer term solution to their accommodation needs. Ballinteer, Knocknacarra, Rochestown, Trim, Tramore, Malahide/Portmarnock and Shellybanks are all new Educate Together primary schools that have opened in the past few years. Some of these schools have strong building plans in place but are not on this published list.

Also not mentioned are the four new second-level schools announced for Balbriggan, North Wicklow, Stepaside, and Celbridge. Educate Together is very confident that these projects are high on the Department’s priorities and will be delivered either in time for the schools’ opening in September 2016 or shortly afterwards.

Address: Educate Together, Equity House, 16/17 Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7, Ireland - Charity Number: CHY 11816