Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare South and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Education Committee Fiona O’Loughlin says there needs to be a greater urgency in progressing the project for a new school building for St. Paul’s Secondary School in Monasterevin.

A new school building was first promised 15 years ago, but the project is still ongoing. Planning permission for the new school was granted last summer but a lease agreement for the required land is yet to be secured.

Deputy O’Loughlin said, “This has been a long running issue which needs to be resolved once and for all. I have secured an Oireachtas Education Committee meeting to specifically examine the delays in delivering new buildings for five schools across the country, including St. Paul’s Secondary School.

“The meeting will take place on April 17th and will hear concerns from staff working in the schools. Officials from the Department of Education will have to set out clearly what is being done to resolve this issue.

“It’s totally unacceptable that the pupils, teachers and parents are still waiting for a new school building for St. Paul’s. The current building is completely inadequate and cannot meet the needs of the school. The current conditions include class room overcrowding, poor toilet facilities, a substandard heating system which continuously breaks down and teachers having to correct homework in their cars due to a lack of space.

“The new school building is currently at design stage but the project will not be able to proceed unless the lease agreement for the new building at Moore Abbey is secured. Minister for Education Richard Bruton needs to intervene and ensure this issue is getting the priority it deserves. It’s of vital importance that this new school building is delayed. Any further delays will not be tolerated,” concluded Deputy O’Loughlin.