The announcement this week by the Department of Education and Skills that additional classrooms have been sanctioned at two second level schools in Co Longford is welcome news for the local Vocational Education Committee (VEC).
The Leader understands that additional classroom space has been provided for, by the Department, at Ardscoil Phádraig, Granard, where four classrooms have been sanctioned, and that, over at Lanesboro Community College, a further two classrooms will be catered for.
Speaking to the Leader, Acting CEO, Co Longford VEC, Rosemary Killian Johnston said that staff at the facility had worked “closely” with the Department in recent months, as part of a concerted effort to secure the accommodation, which she said, was urgently required at both schools, because of increasing enrolments.
“The classrooms are a welcome addition to the schools as both schools have had increasing enrolments over the last number of years, and the enrolment trend is set to continue,” a delighted Ms Killian Johnston said. “The provision of the additional accommodation acknowledges that the schools’ are expanding, vibrant and progressive facilities and it places both of them firmly on the map - in terms of educational provision, long into the future.”
The acting CEO went on to confirm that two of the four classrooms at Ardscoil Phádraig would “replace existing prefabricated structures” as well as two brand new state of the art classrooms. “At Lanesboro Community College, the additional accommodation consists of one classroom to replace an existing prefabricated structure and one further additional classroom,” she added. “This planned expansion of both schools is part of Co Longford VEC’s on-going commitment to ensure that the students and staff in all the schools are served with the best infrastructure and educational facilities on offer. Work will commence immediately on progressing both projects, with the intention of having both building programmes completed as soon as possible.”
Acting Principal, Ardscoil Phádraig, Mr Garrett Buckley said he was delighted with the news and pointed to the continuous increase in enrolment numbers in recent years.
“It has been increasing steadily for the last number of years and we have had a sizeable number of enquiries in relation to enrolment following our Open Evening in October,” Mr Buckley confirmed. “We already have a considerable number of students enrolled for the 2013/2014 academic year, so the additional classroom space will be very necessary in the years ahead.”
Over in Lanesboro, Principal, Jimmy Flanagan said, “It is a great vote of confidence in our school and we look forward to serving the Lanesboro community well into the future”.
Mr Flanagan also acknowledged the work that went into securing approval for both projects and sincerely thanked the Board of Management of both schools, Co Longford VEC and the Department of Education & Skills for all their support in securing the additional accommodation.