Preparatory works to begin soon at Wexford Loreto site
Preparatory works for Wexford's new Loreto Girls Secondary School are due to start within the next two weeks.
'You're looking at new roads, site fencing and services.. the works will take five months to complete,' said former mayor Cllr George Lawlor, who with Minister Brendan Howlin and the school authorities campaigned hard behind the scenes for the development - the first new secondary school to be built from scratch in the town since the Christian Brothers in the mid-1870s.
Cllr. Lawlor said the name of proferred tenderer would be revealed next week.
'We have been working on this since early 2012. It's terrific to see it finally coming to fruition,' he said, 'along with the CBS redevelopment, it's one of our key projects for the town.'
The Loreto development on a greenfield site, once earmarked for housing and a nursing home, will see the creation of a two- and three-storey school building with state-of-the-art educational and sports facilities.
There were no objections to the 900-student school which will be built off the Duncannon Road at Ballynagee and which it is hoped will open by December 2016.
The 10.3 acre site is bounded to the east by the Whiterock residential estates, to the south and west by agricultural land and to the north by the R733 Duncannon Road.
The school will have a full-size GAA pitch, hockey pitch, three ball courts, car and cycle parking and a drop off area.
The school building itself, which will be sub-divided into two district blocks, will range from two to three storeys, with the physical education hall providing direct access to the GAA and hockey pitches.
A planning report says the new school will greatly enhance the immediate locality and create a new energy to the area in keeping with the Wexford Development Plan 2013-2019.
The site had planning permission for a mixed use development and a private nursing home which was not constructed.
Car and bus access to the school will be provided by a dedicated exit off the R733 roundabout to the north of the site.
This will lead to an internal roundabout which sub-divides the staff's vehicles from parents' vehicles. The staff car park, to the east of the main entrance, and will accommodate 90 car spaces.
The students' set down area is to the west and will facilitate student drop off and collection, school bus set down areas and service and visitor access.
Pedestrian and bicycle access is provided by gates along the northern boundary.
The design of the school has been influenced by existing site conditions and the local authority's master plan for the area which includes a civic centre to the north west, a new road from the R733 running parallel to the west of the site, with a residential zone proposed to the north and the east, which will be accessed through the new road to the north of the site serving the school.
The new Loreto campus is being built as part of a PPP (Public-Private Partnership) stimulus package to replace existing schools with new accommodation.