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Higgins fights for more investment in local schools

Cllr Emer Higgins brings Minister for Education to visit schools in need of investment in Lucan and Rathcoole

“Schools in Lucan and Rathcoole will have a bright future as long as they see increased investment from Government”. That’s according to Fine Gael bye-election candidate Cllr Emer Higgins who brought Minister for Education, Joe McHugh to visit local schools today (Monday).

“It was really useful to bring Minister Joe McHugh to visit some of our local schools today. I am prioritising better education and more school places for our local children. We really need more investment in schools in Lucan and Rathcoole and I wanted Minister McHugh to see first-hand the needs of our community.

“It was great to bring the Minister to Griffeen Community College which currently operates from Kishogue Community College and badly needs its own school built. A Service Level Agreement has been prepared between the Department of Education and the Education and Training Board and the Minister committed to ensuring that was urgently tended to. I look forward to seeing progress for this school.

“I was also delighted to bring the Minister to St Thomas JNS and Scoil Aine SNS where their school building projects are currently at an advanced stage of architectural planning known as Stage 2(b) Detailed Design. This includes the application for Planning Permission, Fire Cert and Disability Access Cert and the preparation of tender documents and all statutory approvals have been secured.

“I know there have been some delays with the Architect and Quantity Surveyor withdrawing from the project but the Minister assures me that a tender process to replace both roles will commence shortly.

“My old school, Holy Family Community School in Rathcoole, is also in need of investment and I was pleased to bring the Minister there today. A brief change request relating mainly to structural and foundation works for the new building was reviewed and approved by the Department of Education last year and the design team is currently completing the Stage 2(b) report and upgrading the current design to ensure that the new school building is a Near Zero Energy Building.

“All school building projects now are achieving best practise in energy efficiency and will move forward with a green ethos. As we all know school children have been leading the way recently in terms of climate awareness.

“In bringing Minister McHugh to visit these schools, teachers and students were able to engage at the highest level in relation to the requirements for a better place in which to learn.”

Cllr Higgins continued: “In addition to the schools visited today, Lucan Community College has a design team working on stage 2 report and it will be submitted to the Department of Education by the end of the year. Again the design team are ensuring that the new school building is a Near Zero Energy Building (NZEB).

“Divine Mercy is also making good progress with its design team doing a final review of the tender documentation.

“Scoil Chronain is in the process of acquiring additional land owned by South Dublin County Council adjoining the site of this school, and the additional land offers the potential to enhance current facilities and support future development.

“I’m also visiting St Joseph’s in Lucan this week to discuss the delays in their building project. It is crucial that this project is progressed for the good of the local school going community.

“Coláiste Chillian in Clondalkin had good news last Friday with the announcement by my Fine Gael colleague, Junior Minister for Sport Brendan Griffin, of €130,000 in sports capital grants.

“There is a bright future ahead for our local schools and I will continue to keep the Minister for Education up to date with progress and fully briefed on the needs of our community”, Cllr Higgins concluded.

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