The new building is being built for 600 students and will feature 22 general classrooms, specialist classrooms, a library, multimedia labs, canteen and dining areas, a sports hall and the cultúrlann performance area.
Atkins a member of SNC-Lavalin is providing Civil and Structural design and PSDP services for the Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí. The new building is being built for 600 students and will feature 22 general classrooms, specialist classrooms, a library, multimedia labs, canteen and dining areas, a sports hall and the cultúrlann performance area.
The new campus will ensure that Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí’s students will, be moving into a new state of the art building in 2022. This school will serve the students of Tralee and its hinterland who wish to be educated through Irish in a modern campus focusing on 21st century teaching and learning.
Kevin Holland, Technical Director, Atkins stated that ‘Atkins are delighted to see the to be the Civil and Structural Engineers on this project. We look forward to completing this exciting project successfully with Kerry ETB, Oppermann Associates Architects, Varming Consulting Engineers, McGahon Surveyors and the rest of the team.’
The new 75,000 sq. ft. building with a capacity to cater for 600 students will enable the Gaelcholáiste to accommodate its expanding student population which has necessitated a second campus since 2016.
Funding of approximately €16m has been allocated for this project under Project Ireland 2040. The Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí Campas Nua will be built on a 6.5-acre site at Clonmore in Tralee, which was provided by Kerry County Council.
“The new 75,000 sq.ft building will have a capacity to cater for 600 students, while the campus will also include a Sports Hall, Fitness Suite, hard-court play areas and further developments to include a Hurling Wall and a training pitch. I would like to commend Kerry ETB and Kerry County Council for their tireless commitment and endeavour to this project and for ensuring that this fine institution will continue to enrich, empower and inspire Kerry students through the Irish language, for many years to come.”
Ruairí Ó Cinnéide, príomhoide, Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí said, “At present there are students from up to 40 different primary schools attending Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí. It is very important to us that students from all primary schools realise that Gaelcholaiste Chiarraí is a viable option for them for their second level education. Students, and their parents, are sometimes anxious about making the transition into an All-Irish learning environment as they often underestimate their own competency in spoken and written Irish, however, we would always recommend that they contact us to discuss this as the vast majority of students are well capable of making the transition.”
Kerry Education and Training Board Chief Executive, Mr Colm McEvoy has welcomed the decision to allow the vital project to proceed as it will enable Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí to cater for increasing enrolments when completed.
“I am delighted that the Department of Education have affirmed the critical importance of delivering this post-primary educational facility. The new school building will enable the Management of the school to cater for the increasing demands to access post primary education through medium of Irish, in Tralee and the surrounding area. The new school building when complete will provide a modern, state of art teaching and learning environment for students and staff. We are very appreciative of the support we have received form the Local Community and Kerry Co. Co. in advancing this project. We all look forward to the completion of the new school building.”
Chairperson of Kerry Education and Training Board, Cllr. Jim Finucane in welcoming the commencement of the formal construction phase of the building stated: “The commencement of the construction of the new Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí school building is very welcome development for Tralee and the wider area. This new building project is being managed by the ETB Head Office buildings team and is being delivered under the devolved projects funding model. The planning and preparation for this project have been ongoing for many years and I am delighted that all of that work has come to fruition. The provision of the site by Kerry Co. Co. for the new school was a significant milestone for this project coupled with excellent work of the ETB Management and the design team in progressing the project thought the various design and approval stages with the Department in recent years. As with any project of this nature it will give a significant boost to the local Tralee economy during and beyond the construction phase.”