Three Waterford schools got the go-ahead for major new building projects yesterday.

Holy Cross NS, Ballycarnane, Tramore, has received funding for a new 24-classroom school, while new 16-classroom schools are being built for Gaelscoil na Déise (Gracedieu Rd) and Waterford Educate Together (Morrison’s Ave, Tycor) on a new greenfield site at Carrickphierish in the city.

All three projects are going to tender shortly, with construction due to commence in the current year. Minister Martin Cullen and his party colleague Brendan Kenneally have welcomed the announcements, which follow prolonged representations by politicians of all hues, not to mention the respective boards of management.

Deputy Kenneally said, “I know this will be a great relief to everyone associated with these schools,” with Minister saying “it’s particularly fantastic news for Holy Cross.”

“We’ve been pushing to have this funding granted for some time and we now know that construction can begin in 2009,” Mr Kenneally added.

He also backed the decision not to publish the amount of funding being made available in a bid to keep the tendering process as competitive as possible. “In the current economic times it is vital that we achieve the best value for money.”

Satisfied the projects will start quickly, he said officials from the Department of Education will be in touch with the schools to advise them on the next steps to take.