Acquisition of site for Swords school is close
THE acquisition of a site at Moortetown for a new secondary school for Swords is at ‘an advanced stage’, according to a Fingal senator.
Senator James Reilly told the Fingal Independent: ‘I am delighted the Minister for Education has informed me that the acquisition by Fingal County Council of a school campus site at Mooretown, Rathbeale Road, Swords is at an advanced stage and expected to conclude soon.’
Senator Reilly said: ‘This new secondary school, to be known as Swords Community College, is on the Department of Educations Design & Rapid
Build Programme. The project is at architectural planning stage.’
He explained: ‘Minister Bruton has confirmed that his Department officials will meet with school representatives and the patron, Dublin &
Dun Laoghaire ETB to discuss and examine the plans for the school. Then the project will proceed for statutory approval. The project will then proceed for tender and construction.’
Crucial to the development of the school is the upgrade of the Rathbeale Road, a project which is currently undergoing a difficulty public consultation process that has seen more than 100 submissions expressing concerns about traffic diversions that are proposed during the works.
Addressing that issue, Senator Reilly said: ‘It is of the utmost importance that Fingal councillors work with senior officials in Fingal County ccuncil on the Rathbeale Road Swords upgrade scheme so that this new secondary school can open as soon as possible.’
He added: ‘I would encourage the councillors to engage constructively with the experienced officials in the roads and transport department of Fingal County Council to deliver an upgraded Rathbeale Road in Swords with cycleways, new footpaths and pedestrian crossings leading to better access and egress to the proposed new school at the Mooretown campus.
The school is already late with its opening postponed by a year after it became clear the new school would not be ready to open in September of this year.
September 2018 is now the target date for the opening of the school which is set to be a major boon for the secondary school sector in the town. The first new secondary school in Swords for decades will be housed in a high quality temporary ‘pod’ building on the grounds of St Finian’s Community College before moving to a permanent building in the Mooretown area of Swords in 2019.
When the decision to postpone the opening of the school for a year was taken in the summer, Principal of Swords Community College, Mark Mcdonald, said postponing the opening will now give them a further year of thorough planning and preparation.
He said: ‘The support from parents and the wider Swords community has been so positive, resulting in a high number of applications already received for 2018. We envisage opening our progressive college with a sizable cohort of eager students next year,’
Senator Dr James Reilly.