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February 6, 2014

Re: Extension to School

Dear Parents,

I am pleased to inform you that significant progress has been achieved lately in regards to an extension to the school. You are aware that there were objections to South Dublin County Council granting planning permission and eventually it was appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

While Bord Pleanala granted permission, without compromising the extent and design of the extension, the appeal delayed progress by one year approximately.

The good news is that the Department of Education has signed off on the project and it now goes to tender. The tendering process, appointment of a contractor and ensuring that the contractor is fully insured and bonded, will take a few months to complete. The expected start date for commencement of construction will be in late June or the start of the summer holidays in July. The construction is anticipated to take thirteen (13) months to complete so that the new building should be ready for September 2015.

 As part of the development of the school, the existing building will be refurbished also – this will be done mainly during holiday time with no disruption to the children’s education.

When the construction is completed, all the existing prefabs will be removed thus freeing up valuable play area for the children.

Enrolments: There were a large number of applications for enrolments for Junior Infants for next September and in conjunction with the other principal teachers in the area I think we have managed to secure a place for all children in a Junior Infant class. For our part, we changed our enrolment policy so that siblings and children who live in close proximity to the school would get priority. That being done, we still needed to take in three Junior Infant classes. There are two 6th classes leaving in June and there is no more space in the school grounds to accommodate another prefab.

The Department of Education has agreed in principle to fund an additional classroom off site for the next school year. A number of sites in Rathcoole were identified as potentially suitable. However, the most suitable is the grounds of Rathcoole Boys FC in Forest Hills. We have agreed in principle with Rathcoole Boys FC for a prefab to be located there in their car park for the school year 2014/2015. We would like to thank Rathcoole Boys FC for their offer of their grounds for a classroom, car parking facilities and their all-weather pitches as a playground.

When all this is hopefully finalised, one of the senior classes in the school will be taught in the new classroom in Rathcoole Boys FC for the next school year. When classes are allocated in the month of May, the parents of that class will be notified and arrangements will be put in place for dropping off and collecting children.

We will be looking for co-operation from staff, parents and pupils in the next school year to ensure that the extension is built without causing undue disruption to the day-to-day running of the school and together we can look forward to a brand new building for years ahead for the education of this and the next generation of children in Rathcoole and hinterland.