Hopes have been voiced by Tramore Town Councillor Joe Conway that the long promised new amalgamated secondary school for the town will be open in five years time. But that’s provided there’s is no “slippage” in the interim.

That conclusion arises from a meeting he had last Wednesday with an official from the Department of Education.

He met with Maria Grogan, HEO at the Department’s Buildings Section in its Tullamore unit. She was deputising for Unit Head Eamon Cusack.

“I asked her if she could appraise me of the latest state of play in relation to the proposed new school (which is to amalgamate the CBS and Stella Maris)”, the former Town Mayor reported. “She stated that, with the current initiative on PPPs, two tranches were currently going through the system. In light of this, the Department was anxious to progress the next tranche and was at present seeking information regarding the various proposed projects. The readiness of these projects, and the attendant infrastructure, would determine whether they would be included in tranche three. If not, obviously they would be in tranche four.

“I signalled to her and her Unit the anxiety of the parents, Boards, children and staffs in Tramore about the slow progress to date, underscoring the conditions that prevail in the two schools at present.

“She stated that the decision about the next tranche would be made within a month or so and confirmed that if Tramore was ready and successful, it would be four years from then until intake of pupils”.

Cllr Conway concluded from that assertion that the school should be ready for intake at the beginning of the school-year 2013, “provided there is no interim slippage”.