A new school building for Athlone Community College could be on the cards as early as 2012. The news follows the announcement this week that the school is among eight nationwide which are ready to be offered to the market under the Public Private Partnership.
The delivery of the long-awaited new accommodation for the Athlone school moved a step closer with this week’s announcement by Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan.
Outline planning permission has been achieved for the new building, which will replace the current building at Retreat Road. Subject to the tendering process, it is expected that construction on the school will commence in early 2012.
The projects make up the third bundle of Public Private Partnership (PPP ) schools, announced in late 2008. Under the PPP model, the schools will be designed, built, financed, and maintained for 25 years by the successful tenderer.
Post-primary schools in Donegal, Leitrim, Galway, Wexford, Waterford, Limerick, and a primary school in Galway are also to benefit under the programme.
Speaking at this week’s announcement, the Tánaiste said the school projects would create over 5,700 places for students and teachers.
“One of the main advantages PPP schools have is that the principal isn’t involved on a daily basis in maintenance and caretaking issues. These become the responsibility of the PPP operator for the period of the contract,” she said.
“I wish to pay tribute to all those involved in bringing the projects to this stage, particularly the management and principals of the schools.”