New primary school being built in Athenry

New primary school being built in Athenry

St. Joseph’s N.S have been granted planning approval for the construction of a new primary school building at Carrabane, Athenry.

The Board of Management submitted plans to county council for a new two storey primary school building with ten classrooms and an outdoor play and sports area next to Kilconieron GAA Club.

The new school building will be accessed off the L3114 Kiltuallagh road connecting to the R349.

A new footpath will be installed next to the R349 connecting the school to the village along lands owned by the GAA club and private landowner, both of which have given their consent.

The school will be served by 27 car parking spaces and a set-down/drop-off area at the front of the Carrabane Community Development Centre.

According to the planning application the new facilities are needed because the current St. Joseph’s primary school is confined to “old and temporary buildings on small site of approximately 0.5 hectares”.

The population in the area served by St. Joseph’s has also increase din recent years, putting more pressure on services.

“The school has received new teachers in accordance with recent growth in pupil numbers and there is a reliance on prefabricated classrooms”.

“However the restricted site cannot satisfactorily accommodate more prefabs due to its small size and the need to retain open play areas”.

In March the county council made a request for further information, asking the school to submit details of the proposed pedestrian crossing on the R349, as well as the footpath specifications linking it to the local road.

The council also asked the school to redesign the pedestrian access to the GAA grounds so the it is accessed directly from the L3114 Kiltullagh road.

A revised Road Safety Audit incorporating those revisions was then to be submitted to the council.

The council also noted that the ringfort located to the southwest of the site may contain an underground chamber which could potentially be used as a roost for bats.

A revised design, RSA, and bat survey were submitted by Hayes Higgins Chartered Engineers on behalf of the primary school on July 9.

The survey found no evidence of roosting bats and determined that the site was unsuitable for the mammals.

Ultimately the county council gave its blessing to the new primary school with a total of 15 conditions attached.

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