Neighbouring schools St Aloysius’ College and Scoil Chlochair Mhuire NS have been given the green light for the construction of a €35m state-of-the-art school campus in the heart of Carrigtwohill.
On a visit to St Aloysius’ College on Monday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed that the ambitious plans for the two schools can now move to the Design and Construction stage (Stage 2).
Initial plans for an expansion of all-girls secondary school St Aloysius’ College evolved from an €8m single storey extension, to a new educational campus with a value of €35m, encompassing two new schools for St Aloysius’ College and neighbouring co-educational primary school Scoil Chlochair Mhuire NS.
A new school of almost 10,000 m2 for St Aloysius’ College is estimated to cost in the region of €26m, while plans for Scoil Chlochair Mhuire envisage a €9m investment in a new school of over 3,000 m2.
Stage 1 plans for the “vibrant educational centre” in the heart of the thriving town of Carrigtwohill were produced by a design team including MCOH Architects, DBFL Consulting Engineers, Matt O’Mahony & Associates, Rogerson Reddan and Chris Mee Group.
Plans are for a “future proof campus” with adequate parking and pedestrian solutions for both schools, that also works as a piece of civic infrastructure connected to the main streets of Carrigtwohill.
The campus will incorporate architecture and existing buildings on the historic school grounds, which has been providing education for girls as far back as 1879.
New facilities planned for St Aloysius’ College include 37 classrooms, five specialist classrooms for Music, Multimedia, Textiles, Design & Communication Graphics and Technical Graphics, six Science labs, two Art rooms, two Home Economics Rooms, two rooms for Construction Studies, Engineering and Technology, two tuition rooms for Special Education, a library and a staff room.
Meanwhile plans for Scoil Chlochair Mhuire include 16 classrooms, three tuition rooms for Special Education, and a multi-purpose room.
New educational facilities will be complemented by hard court, grass and other playing areas for both schools.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that the government is aware of demand for school places in East Cork.
“Together with the other school building projects in Carrigtwohill, we believe the additional spaces at post-primary level in particular will mean St. Aloysius College will be able to meet the huge demand they have for entry into the college,” he said.
“In addition, it will allow St. Al’s to add engineering, technology, construction and STEM courses to their curriculum which we feel are important growth focus areas for girls in particular,” he added.
St Aloysius’ College Principal Sean Twomey said that the plans will be “life changing” for the schools and students, and will “further enhance the educational facilities within the East Cork Area”.
“A lot of effort has gone into getting us to this stage and I would like to pay tribute to the Design Team for their hard work and creativity in finding solutions to the site issues,” he said, also thanking all those who assisted in bringing the project to completion, including staff past and present, the Board of Management and Parents Associations, and members of the Le Cheile Schools Trust.
“We can only thank the Taoiseach and the Minister for Education, the investment that has been shown by the Government in delivering top class educational facilities to Carrigtwohill is much appreciated and will allow us to look forward to providing our staff and students with the very best of facilities,” he said.
“This will be life changing in relation to us as a school, but it will also mean that we will be able to let in more students into the school and be able to widen the depth of curriculum to include subjects like Engineering, Technology, Design and Communication Graphics for all students,” he added.
Nora Moran, Principal of Scoil Chlochair Mhuire, said they are “delighted to see progress being made on a planned new building for Scoil Chlochair Mhuire and are really excited by what lies ahead”.
Commencement of construction of the new campus is scheduled for late 2024, and is expected to be completed on a phased basis over two years.