600-pupil school for Drogheda/ Lay­town area

Mid Louth Independent - - NEWS -

A NEW sec­ondary school to cater for 600 stu­dents is to be built in south Drogheda and will open next year.

The an­nounce­ment was made last week by Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills, Richard Bru­ton, T.D.

The lo­ca­tion has yet to be an­nounced but it will be sit­u­ated be­tween Drogheda and Lay­town.

He said the new school was part of ‘bal­anced re­gional de­vel­op­ment’ as out­lined in Project Ire­land 2040 for the Drogheda en­vi­rons.

Cathaoir­leach of the Lay­town/Bet­tys­town area Cllr Paddy Meade says the news is very wel­come as it’s some­thing that’s been fought for quite a while.

‘We had looked for this school and also a school in Duleek so it’s dis­ap­point­ing that Duleek has not been in­cluded. It is a big town now and has two new pri­mary schools, so it is vi­tal for the area,’ Paddy stated. He says that the ‘des­per­ate need’ for a school there means that the fight will con­tinue for it.

‘The new school has been ear­marked for the Drogheda-Lay­town area but I feel an area be­tween Bet­tys­town and Morn­ing­ton would be ideal. I will be meet­ing with engi­neers this week and I will cer­tainly be propos­ing that we learn from the mis­takes of the past. It needs a traf­fic man­age­ment plan ini­tially, that foot­paths can be put in place and that ac­cess to the fa­cil­ity won’t lead to prob­lems down the road.’

Lo­cal TD, Fer­gus O’Dowd, added, “This is fan­tas­tic news and it is hoped the project will be com­pleted by 2019 and will de­liver a re­gional so­lu­tion for the area. This de­ci­sion is an en­dorse­ment of the Project 2040 an­nounce­ment and Drogheda’s in­clu­sion as a vi­tal cog ear­marked for re­gional de­vel­op­ment in the plan.”

“An­other key el­e­ment of this an­nounce­ment is the process that will be run to es­tab­lish parental pref­er­ence for the pa­tron­age of the new school. Min­is­ter Bru­ton will an­nounce a new on­line pa­tron­age process this year to de­ter­mine parental pref­er­ences in the area in terms of pre­ferred pa­tron and their pref­er­ence as to whether the new school should op­er­ate through Ir­ish or English.

“In ad­di­tion the large school will also se­cure em­ploy­ment for teach­ers lo­cally and cre­ate jobs in the con­struc­tion sec­tor.”

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