Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) members were informed by the Chief Executive Kevin Lewis at their meeting last week that significant progress has been made in relation to the project to deliver a 1,000 pupil replacement school in Wexford Town for Selskar College and a new 8 classroom school for the Educate Together National School with significant potential for future expansion of both schools. WWETB will manage and deliver the projects for both schools. The Department of Education and Skills has now informed the Chief Executive that they have identified and acquired a 16 acre site (subject to planning permission) at a location between the Whitford Hotel and the Clonard Road.
Kevin Lewis commented that “this is a significant and exciting development for Selskar College students and staff delivering state of the art facilities”. This school represents a new Community College management arrangement for which WWETB has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Educate Together. He said that he was delighted that a new primary school will be adjacent to the post-primary school and that this will create a quality education campus for Wexford town. Further good news is that a 4 classroom Special Education Needs unit will be provided for the post-primary school and a 2 classroom Special Education Needs unit will be provided for the primary school. WWETB will now proceed to appoint a Design Team for the project as soon as possible.
Barbara-Anne Murphy, Chairperson of WWETB Board said that ‘as Chairperson of WWETB, I am delighted that the site for our new second level school for Wexford town has been announced by the Minister for Education and Skills, Norma Foley T.D. I hope that the plans for our new school will get planning approval in a timely manner, and that we can proceed with this building project and provide this much needed education facility for the people of Wexford as soon as possible.’
Dr Emer Nowlan, CEO of Educate Together has welcomed the announcement and said that ‘Wexford Educate Together National School has gone from strength to strength since its establishment in 2008. This new school building will provide the school with a permanent home and enable it to thrive. We look forward to working with WWETB to develop two outstanding schools on this shared campus, which can grow to meet the increasing demand for equality-based education in Wexford town.’
WWETB Director of Schools Eimear Ryan added that she was ‘delighted with the location of the proposed site and the plans for a campus arrangement with the Educate Together Primary School. WWETB will continue to progress the project as quickly as possible and I remain optimistic that some of the students currently enrolled in Selskar College will finish their post-primary education in this brand-new partnership school. After many years of discussion and work by so many people, it is great to see our vision become a reality.’
Principal of Selskar College, Denise Lennon Hennessy, is equally delighted with the proposed development, stating that ‘this will offer the community of Wexford greater choice in an easily accessible location and provide us as a school community with the opportunity to create a centre of excellence in both academia and sport.’
Leonard Kelly, Mayor of Wexford said “As Mayor of Wexford, (current member of the BOM of Selskar College, and former member of the BOM of Wexford Educate Together),a parent of school going children, resident of this town and someone who works with schools in various capacities I know that this announcement is an absolute game changer for Primary and Post Primary Education in Wexford town. Education is the key to reducing inequality in our society, and by creating this education campus in town we will help to strengthen our community by ensuring that our children are given the best opportunity to be educated in state of the art facilities in their own town. I welcome this initial step and will continue to work towards ensuring that this project is seen through to completion”.