25 November, 2009 - New school in Skibbereen takes step forward as site acquisition nears completion
The effort to build a new 900-pupil community school in Skibbereen has taken a step forward after the Minister for Education and Science, Batt O'Keeffe TD, announced that the procurement process for a 19-acre site for the project is almost complete.
Announcing the move, Minister O'Keeffe said: 'I'm pleased that long-running efforts to secure a site for the new school are coming to an end and it's now at the final stage of conveyance.
'The need for new school accommodation in Skibbereen is acute so progress on the community school project is very welcome.
'It's also worth noting that the project will mean an extension of the ring road in the town and pedestrian access which will relieve traffic congestion,' said Minister O'Keeffe.
This summer, Minister O'Keeffe asked County Cork VEC to start looking for a suitable site for the planned community school in Skibbereen.
'I'd like to acknowledge the efficient manner in which the site has been identified and procured since that call.
'I appreciate the efforts of the VEC, West Cork Division of Cork County Council, Skibbereen Town Council and my Department officials in advancing the project for Skibbereen.
'I look forward to the development of the next stage of the new school,' said Minister O'Keeffe.
The project will be delivered through the public-private partnership model.
Under the model, the private sector partner enters into a contract to design, build and fund the projects, while also having responsibility for the maintenance of the buildings and grounds over the 25-year life of the contract and the management of the school's premises services such as cleaning and security over that period.
Announcements Minister O'Keeffe has made so far in respect of large-scale projects moving to tender and construction will create over 30,000 school places.