New school sanctioned for Colaiste Phobail Roscrea

Alan Kelly

Labour Leader Deputy Alan Kelly announced the new school for Roscrea today

Deputy Alan Kelly welcomes the announcement

There is great rejoicing in Roscrea and its hinterlands this week following news that the Department of Education has given the green light for a new build at Coláiste Phobal, Roscrea.

After a six year detailed process, the good news which Roscrea was waiting for, was announced by Labour Party Leader, Deputy Alan Kelly, this week who heralded it as being “great news for Roscrea”

‘I’m delighted to announce that the Department of Education has informed Tipperary Education Training Board that they are sanctioning a new build school for Colaiste Phobal Roscrea. This is one of the largest schools in Tipperary and the sole secondary school in the town,” Deputy Kelly told 

He added that on foot of representations made, he succeeded in getting the school on the Department of Education’s Capital Plan.
“I have fought for a new building for the school ever since by arranging a number of meetings with the Department in the intervening years and constantly asking about progress.

“Just two weeks ago, I asked a parliamentary question requesting the report on the school technical inspection that was carried out on May 1, 2019. The Department refused to provide the report until I went back to the Ceann Comhairle and challenged them.

“As a consequence the Department were forced to relook at the report, conclude a ‘Brief Finalisation Report’ and make a decision on a new build. That has now been concluded within a week and I’m delighted that a decision has now been made to build a new school.

When a technical inspection is carried out on a school a stand-alone technical report is not prepared following the visit as the information gathered is incorporated into a Brief Formalisation Report (BFR). The first section of the BFR consists of information gathered during the technical inspection on issues such site, traffic management and building fabric.

The remaining sections of the BFR outline issues that an appointed Design Team must consider and address and also outlines proposed solutions to issues identified as well as identifying additional accommodation necessary to meet the long-term projected enrolments for the school.

In the case of Colaiste Phobail, Roscrea there were a number of complicating factors (mix of PLC and Second level students, various accommodation blocks in different condition) and as the school is the only post-primary school (free sector) in the Roscrea School Planning area has involved greater engagement with the school management authority to agree a long-term projected enrolment for mainstream and special needs pupils.

A note from the Department of Education stated:
“As outlined to Deputy Kelly in the parliamentary question reply of May 11, 2021, the BRF is now being finalised and the Department will be happy to provide Deputy Kelly and the school authority with a copy of the BFR in the coming weeks.

Deputy Kelly was delighted with the news and added:
“I would like to thank in particular the Principal of the school Michael O’Connor for working with me so closely to deliver the new school. It’s a credit to him and I look forward to it commencing as soon as possible.

“This is great news for Roscrea, the staff and future students as they will have a state of the art school,” he said.
Colaiste Phobal, Roscrea which is run by Tipperary ETB serves many of the parishes surrounding Roscrea and has a very strong presence in the community with a significantly high student population.

Independent Cllr Shane Lee said: who, in addition to being a past-pupil of the school, is a member of the Educational Training Board and also a member of the Board of Management at Colaiste Phobal, says that this news will be a major boost for Roscrea. ‘Colaiste Phobal has earned the reputation of being a centre of educational excellence and this news will ensure that generations to come can avail of secondary education in a building that meets all their requirements’ he says.  

 The new school will be built on the existing site and will cater for 800 students. The building also provides for four ASD classes to meet the needs of more than 20 additional students. 

 One of the existing buildings will cater for Adult Education classes,  allowing them a designated learning facility on the campus.

 ‘The Board of Management at the school, along with the Principal Michael O’Connor, have worked long and hard to bring this plan to fruition. Colaiste Phobal is the only Post-Primary school in the town of Roscrea and its pupils deserve to have the very best facilities available to them.  I am delighted and proud to have been involved in the delivery of this new building for the town’ says Cllr. Lee.

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