17-acre site acquired for new secondary school

By Mary Dennehy

THE Department of Education has acquired a 17-acre site on the Ballycullen Road for the new Firhouse Educate Together Secondary School, The Echo has learned.

The Department has confirmed to The Echo that a suitable site east of the Ballycullen Road, which lies to the back of new estate Abbot’s Grove on the Knocklyon-side of Ballycullen Road upper, has been acquired for the 1,000-pupil secondary school.

Ballycullen Site01

The site acquired by the Department of Education off Ballycullen Road

However, while a site has been acquired, the acquisition is subject to planning.

In a reply to The Echo, a spokesman for the Department of Education said: “The acquisition of a suitable site has been agreed with a landowner and contracts have been signed. 

“As part of the site acquisition process, the landowner will be submitting an outline planning application for school development shortly.

“If outline planning permission is obtained, the site will transfer to the Minister’s ownership and the Department will subsequently be in a position to appoint a design team to progress the design and full planning application for the project at that stage.”

The new secondary school is due to open this September 2018 in temporary accommodation in the new 16-classroom Firhouse Educate Together National School.

Early stage of development

When asked by The Echo if a timeframe on construction was available, the spokesman said: “Given that the project is at an early stage of development, it is premature to give a commencement date for the building of the school.”

Welcoming the news, local Fine Gael councillor Brian Lawlor told The Echo that a new secondary school is needed in the area to cater to the number of primary schools.

“There is a huge number of primary schools in the area and a new secondary school is needed,” Cllr Lawlor said.

“There is also a lot of houses and developments in the area and this new school allows for choice… it’s great for locals to have another secondary school on their doorstep.

“There is also a lot of demand on Firhouse Community College and St Colmcille’s Community School.”

He added: “Hopefully we can work with planners to build infrastructure [to support the school, its students and the surrounding community].

“For example, working with Dublin Bus to bring the 15 up to the school for students – this is something I will be pushing for.”

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