12 February 2015
By Tom Collins
The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T.D. today
(Thursday) performed the official sod turning on the site of the new
community school at Gortnacloughy, Skibbereen in Co. Cork.
Construction is already underway at the 19 acre site, which will cater
for 900 post-primary school students on completion in May 2016.
Representatives from Mercy Heights Secondary School, Rossa College and
St. Fachtna’s De la Salle, the current three post-primary schools in
Skibbereen were on hand to welcome the Minister to West Cork, and
presented her with a fuchsia tree, the symbol of the Region, to be
planted on the site when the building work is finished.
Speaking at the sod-turning ceremony, the Minister said: “The
multi-million euro investment in this region by the Department of
Education and Skills and with BAM Construction, as the Private Sector
Partner, ensures that West Cork is served with a state of the art
learning facility, that will benefit the Region for generations to
Officially named Skibbereen Community School at the ceremony, the new
school will house 900 pupils providing modern classrooms, several
science laboratories, technology and multimedia rooms, arts and
graphics areas over the 9,800 m2 building. Extensive sports
facilities, both indoor and external hard courts and playing pitches
will also form part of the school development, as well as a fully
specified Special Needs Unit.
“The new community school in Skibbereen will ensure that students in
this area have every opportunity to excel in their chosen subjects,”
said John Fitzgibbon, Education Officer, Cork ETB.
“We have been working on this new school since early 2000 and the land
was purchased in 2009, and we are delighted to witness the turning of
the sod by Minister O’Sullivan here today,” he added.
The site was blessed by Bishop of Cork & Ross John Buckley, who is
also a Trustee of the school. Also in attendance were representatives
of the other Trustees, CEIST and Cork ETB.