THE new eight-room purpose built Ardee Educate Together school, which has been approved by Department of Education, will be built on a four-acre site on the grounds of St Joseph’s Hospital Ardee and will be completed by September 2014.
The news comes as the Government threatens to close smaller rural schools because of public service cuts.
But the Ardee school plan is now at the site acquisition stage. Once this stage is finished the school should be completed rapidly.
Initially the school will have eight classrooms with four learning support classrooms, a large PE hall and a special needs unit with a multi-sensory room will be added as the need arises.
The school opened 10 years ago with 23 pupils. It now has 103.
Its success is mainly due to principal Anne Middleton who has built up a talented and dedicated staff.
“At the moment, we are operating from the main old building and from prefabs,” Ms Middleton said, “so it is excellent news for staff, pupils and parents that plans are at this advanced stage.”
Ardee Town Councillor Leonard Hatrick is chairman of the Ardee Educate Together school board and has also welcomed the news.
“In these times of cutbacks, it’s good to see this investment in education go ahead,” Cllr Hatrick said.
“It’s a non-denominational progressive school and everybody wants to get their kids into it. I believe this is a positive move and good news for the town and I’m delighted for the principal and her staff who have worked tirelessly to develop the school into one of the most successful in both the county and the country,” Cllr Hatrick said.
The school’s motto is ‘Learn Together to Live Together and No Child is An Outsider.’ It is multi-denominational and welcomes all faiths and none.