Outline planning permission has been granted for Tramore’s new €18m amalgamated secondary school, Town Manager Brian White confirmed at the Town Council’s October meeting.
Cllr Ann Marie Power, who has blasted the “disgraceful” delay in delivering the project in the past, said she was arranging a meeting with MEP Sean Kelly in an effort to speed up the pre-construction process.
In March 2007 the OPW paid €4.3m for a 14-acre site at Summerhill/Ballycarnane. The public-private partnership (PPP) venture between the Dept of Education and the developer will integrate the local CBS and Stella Maris secondary schools on an ultra-modern 850-student campus, complete with library, sports hall and playing pitches.
Waterford Minister Martin Cullen said two-and-a-half years ago now: “The tender process will commence shortly so building work can start as soon as possible.” A completion target of 2010 was indicated at that time.
As far back as May 2004, which was also before nationwide elections coincidentally, the local steering committee were told that the project could be constructed within an 18-month timescale.
The two existing secondary schools are well past their ‘best before’ date, while three new primary schools in the town are also waiting to be either approved or built.
Former OPW Minister Tom Parlon, now secretary-general of the Construction Industry Federation, yesterday criticised the endless inter-departmental red-tape holding up school projects when thousands of building workers are out of work.
“Building schools and building them quickly [must be] a priority,” he said. (Additional reporting: Jamie O’Keeffe.)