This is brilliant news!
Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB) has announced that Heads of Agreement have been reached for the acquisition of lands off the Timahoe road, Portlaoise for the permanent home for Dunamase College.
The site will be home to a school facility that will cater for up to 1,000 students in order to meet the growing needs for places at post-primary level in the Portlaoise catchment area into the future.
Chief Executive of LOETB, Joe Cunningham, said that the site acquisition would provide certainty for the school community and those wishing to enrol their children at the school in coming years.
The school will be built on lands behind the Equestrian Centre on the Timahoe road and, following consultation with Laois County Council, it is planned to have access both from the Timahoe road and from the roundabout at the school campus that is home to Portlaoise Educate Together, Gaelscoil Phortlaoise, and Maryborough primary schools.
A key feature of the development for Dunamase College will be a dedicated ‘park and stride’ facility that will allow parents of students attending all schools in the area to drop off and collect their children in a safe manner and allow students walk to and from their destination school.
Mr Cunningham acknowledged the traffic congestion in the area at school time but added that “every school has congestion at opening and closing time but the dedicated ‘park and stride’ serving all schools, along with the completion of the distributor road, should significantly help the current situation”.
Chair of the Dunamase College Board of Management Liam O’Neill welcomed the news highlighting the certainty it now gives for the community.
He said: “The school is fortunate to have such a fine temporary home on Railway Street which has greatly supported the establishment and growth of the school.
“News of the location for the permanent building will strengthen the educational development of the school.”
Local Councillors Caroline Dwane-Stanley, Catherine Fitzgerald, and Mary Sweeney, are members of both LOETB and the Dunamase College Board of Management.
They welcomed the news and, in particular, the provision of a dedicated ‘park and stride’ facility to help alleviate congestion at busy school times.
Mr Cunningham said that LOETB would now complete the conveyancing of the site while, at the same time, develop a schedule of accommodation in consultation with the Dept. of Education and Skills and then progress to the appointment of a Design Team for the construction phase of the project.
Dunamase College is a post-primary school in Portlaoise under the patronage of LOETB.
The school opened in September 2017 and has a planned intake of over one hundred and ten students this September.
The school also has an Aonad Lán-Gaeilge which allows students to study all curricular subjects as Gaeilge.