Cork South west Fine Gael TD Jim Daly has this week received confirmation from the Department of Education that a Design Team has been appointed to progress the extension to Clonakilty Community College some 12 years after first being promised by then Minister Michael Woods TD in 2002. The School which was built in 1980 to cater for 400 students was included in the current 5 year building plan announced by Minister Ruairí Quinn in 2011. The Department has signed contracts with Cork based Architecture firm Kelly, Barry, O’ Brien Whelan who will design the project which will include a 2 class ASD unit to accommodate pupils with Autism.
Clonakilty based Jim Daly who is a former member of the Board of Management at Clonakilty Community College has described this development as very welcome news having spent over a decade lobbying for the project to go ahead. “Ten years is a long while to be lobbying for this infrastructure. Regrettably, this school was not a priority for the previous Fianna Fáil led Governments despite encouraging the building of houses at every crossroads – investment in our Children’s future was not a priority. This has changed as is evidenced by the very significant investment in Schools locally such as the Gaelscoil in Clonakilty and the major refurbishment at Knockskeagh National School.” Stated Jim Daly who went on to acknowledge the work of the Staff, present and former Principals and Parents who have worked so hard to endure a safe and secure teaching environment for the students in very challenging circumstances.
The new extension to the school will accommodate up to 650 pupils and will bring to an end the current practice where Students and Teachers have to travel to buildings at both ends of the town during the school day due to overcrowding at the present site. Construction on the new extension is due to commence next year.