Construction on the long-awaited new Coláiste Mhuire post-primary school in Buttevant is scheduled to start early in 2014.

The proposed new school has been included among 70 school projects announ-ced by the Minster for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, for which funding has now been allocated. It is scheduled for commencement in 2014.

The news was warmly greeted in Buttevant this week after a campaign going back over a decade and a half, and indications are that the contractors will be moving on to the greenfield site as early as February. Tenders for the project are currently at an advanced stage of con-sideration and it is expected that an announce-ment on the successful contractor will be made shortly.

The proposed school will contain the most modern classrooms, specialist lecture rooms, music/dance workshops, state of the art science laboratories, specialist workshops for architectural technology, MTW, metalwork, engineering, technology, design and communication graphics, art and home economics. There will also be a multimedia learning laboratory, library, prayer/meditation room, multi sensory room, PE hall, fitness suite and extensive external hard court areas

“The delivery of the new school campus will provide the school with the final piece of the jigsaw incorporating the most modern and advanced physical surroundings and technological teaching and learning tools available. The nature of such ‘smart’ design and modern architecture will hugely support us in our mission of providing the best education possible for each and every child in our care,” school principal Donal O’Sullivan told the Vale Star this week.

Expressing his delight at the news, the chairman of the school’s Board of Management, Seán O’Sullivan, stated: “There is a proud tradition of secondary education in Buttevant dating back to the 19th century. Since the VEC took over the management of the school in 1997 they have been very supportive of the local effort to get successive governments to commit funding for a new school.”

One of the driving forces behind the campaign for a new school has been local Councillor Tom Sheahan “I would like thank the Department of Education and Science and in particular the Cork County Vocational Educational Committee whose involvement has been critical to the success of this project.  The principal and staff of the school deserve the highest of congratulations for the standards of education they have been providing.  They along with the pupils and parents deserve to have the best of facilities,” Cllr Sheahan stated.

Work is due to begin in February and should be completed by early 2015.

See images of the new facility on page 50.