Students and teachers at Coláiste na Coiribe could be moving into a new school building by late 2015 after signifcant progress was made recently with the Galway Roscommon Education Training Board advertising for tenders for the construction project at Ballyburke in Knocknacarra.
The advertisement, placed on the Government eTenders procurement website last week, is seeking tenders for the construction of the new purpose built secondary school for Coláiste na Coiribe, which will accommodate 720 pupils and comprise three and two storey teaching blocks, a sports hall, five hard court surfaced ball courts, 68 parking spaces, and a grassed playing pitch.
Welcoming this development, Knocknacarra based Independant councillor Donal Lyons said: “I am delighted that the final hurdle has now been overcome in the long running saga of providing a permanent home for Colaiste na Coiribe. Since the school was founded it has been housed in temporary accommodation in the Claddagh and subsequently to its present temporary location on the Tuam Road. The school opened its doors in 1992 with 10 students and presently caters for close on 300 students and has operated from very challenging physical accommodation for more than 20 years. Both the school community and the former City of Galway Vocational Education Committee have been to the forefront in trying to secure permanent accommodation for the school.”
The site at Ballyburke was earmarked back in 1999 and was zoned for institutional purposes such as a school building. However, after a number of purchasing difficulties the site had to be compulsory purchased by Galway City Council. It was then proposed that the school should be built as a private public partnership and outline planning permission was sought and granted following a decision by the Planning Appeals Board. The private public partnership did no go ahead due to the downturn in the economy and the Department of Education then agreed to progress the project by a direct build, and a design team was appointed to progress the project to completion.
“As former chairperson of the City of Galway Vocational Education Committee and as a member of the board of management of Colaiste na Coiribe, I am delighted that tenders have now been sought for the construction of a new school building which could be ready for occupation in late 2015. I have no doubt that last week’s advertisement will be warmly welcomed by the school community who have led a long campaign to have a purpose built building constructed to cater for the school’s future accommodation needs. In recent years there has been a cap on the number of students being enrolled and the school can now look forward to increased enrolments when the new school is operational. The Coláiste na Coiribe development will accommodate 720 pupils when complete and will predominantly cater for students from local Gaelscoileanna and Gaeltacht schools,” said Cllr Lyons.