Whitmore demands answers over delay in delivery of new Greystones Community College

Jennifer Whitmore Purple

In June last year, local TD, Jennifer Whitmore tentatively welcomed the announcement from Government of the commencement of the next phase for the new school build for Greystones Community College adding then that she hoped that there will be no delays in progress.

With news this week of a delay in the target completion date from September 2024 to mid-2025, and with no answers forthcoming from Minister Foley despite two different letters sent in November 2022 and January 2023, once again the Wicklow TD raised the issue in the Dáil last Thursday.

‘The building on the site and the construction was meant to start now and there is still no news about whether a tender has been put in place or not. It is simply unacceptable and it appears that this is the case with alot of schools with only some schools gone out to tender, with Greystones Community College being left behind. This is an important school for Greystones. There is great pressure and demand for places in the area and this school would go some way to relieving that pressure.’

‘Pupils and teachers have been waiting a very long time to have a permanent place to work and learn and since its sanctioning, Greystones Community College has been in temporary accommodation at three different sites including a tennis club – where the principal’s office was situated in the bathroom, a rugby club and a GAA club. The students are being taught in old, prefabricated buildings at a cost of thousands of Euro with no PE facilities or sports hall. The lack of facilities also impacts on the curriculum available with not all subjects being provided.’

‘All across Wicklow, we have had years of instances where demand has built up and students cannot get into a school within their locality. Where students and parents have had to fight for a place in school or campaign for basic facilities in which their children can learn. It’s a disgrace and it’s an issue mirrored all across Wicklow. Blessington Community College is in the same boat. North Wicklow Educate Together is another example, as is the pressure and demand for school places in the Roundwood and Ashford areas.

It is unacceptable that parents have to invest so much energy and time in fighting for a place for their child, a basic right. The record of school building in County Wicklow is not something that the Department should be selling itself on.’

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