St. Fachtna’s de la Salle will merge with Rossa College and Mercy Heights. Pic: Google

SKIBBEREEN is in line for a new state-of-the-art secondary school accommodating 1,000 students following the recent announcement of the Government’s much-touted €2.25 billion investment stimulus package.

The new school secondary school will replace Mercy Heights, De la Salle and Rossa College and bring them all together under one roof.

Plans to amalgamate the schools on one modern campus have been in the pipeline for years but it seems that those plans will finally become a reality under the new stimulus package.

The Skibb project is one of several earmarked under the €280 million education section of the overall €2.25 billion investment plan.

The project will be delivered as part of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme, with the private sector bearing the initial cost of the project which should ensure that the new school will is delivered more quickly.

The project was initially given the green light by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn under the School Building Programme in March but was still waiting for funding to become available.

A 19-acre site has already been acquired for the new school at Gortnaclohy.

The news was welcomed by local politicians including Labour TD Michael McCarthy who said, “This investment is a particular source of pride for me as I have been campaigning for many years on this project.

“Not only does it mean that local pupils will be educated in a more modern and cohesive school environment, but it will also generate a number of teaching, construction and ancillary jobs in the local area along the way.”

Fine Gael TD Noel Harrington added, “Skibbereen is a small town which certainly does not need three secondary schools so I am delighted that the Government has done the logical thing by bringing the schools together once and for all.

“Some of the buildings which house these three schools are in need of repair. It makes sense, as part of the €280 million provided for investment in the education sector, to build a replacement school instead of pouring money into restoration works.

“By building new premises, we will stimulate the local economy, create jobs in the badly hit construction sector and ensure cost saving measures for the State,” he said.