Ac­qui­si­tion of site for Swords school is close

Fingal Independent - - NEWS - By JOHN MAN­NING

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.

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