Fine Gael Senator Anthony Lawlor has raised the immediate need for additional temporary measure classrooms at Naas Community College, Craddockstown.

 

Senator Lawlor said, “Sufficient classrooms for all NCC students must be provided at Craddockstown.”

 

“Currently Naas Community College is operating across three locations.”

 

Firstly, at Craddockstown in temporary structures adjacent to the primary school. NCC Transition Year students are being accommodated in refurbished prefabs at Pipers’ Hill which is not suitable in terms of location or quality of accommodation and thirdly, thanks to the generosity of Naas GAA students have access to some club facilities.”

 

Continuing, “The use of three non-adjacent sites means staff and students must travel between locations to teach and participate in school curriculum activities. The sites are located at opposite ends of Naas.  This is a very difficult and time consuming situation for students and staff.”

 

“The cost to the school, which it raises from its own budget, is €24,000. This funds shuttle buses to move students to the various locations.”

 

Continuing Senator Lawlor said, “The other pressing concern is that of classroom places for September 2020.  There are 320 applicants for first year in Naas community college 2020. The school will only have space to accommodate 120 pupils. “

 

In response to Senator Lawlor’s Seanad question the Minister replied “Officials from the Department of Education and Skills recently met school representatives of KWETB in respect of that matter. Approval was given at that meeting for KWETB to proceed with a revised brief for the provision of temporary accommodation. That is being progressed as a matter of priority.”

 

Senator Lawlor replied “I have concerns regarding the funding to KWETB for the full number of classrooms required to take in the minimum number of 120 pupils for the year ahead.  And that the use of three locations will still be an issue next year and possibly the year after.”

 

Responding the Minister replied “I assure the House that KWETB, in close consultation with officials in the Department of Education and Skills ……is progressing the additional temporary accommodation required to meet the school’s needs until the new school building is ready.”

 

Concluding Senator Lawlor said “I will continue to add my voice and weight to this issue.  The use of three locations for Naas Community College is not acceptable for students, parents and staff. The coming construction of the new school is no excuse for accepting the current situation.  We must provide enough classrooms for the school in the interim.”