Enniscorthy school building boom
Spending on schools in response to population growth has continued across the Republic in defiance of the austere trend which has brought cuts to just about every other facet of government investment.
Wexford has enjoyed its share of the precious spoils, with Enniscorthy based TD Paul Kehoe justified in calling the programme of construction around his district unprecedented. The Chief Whip's own alma mater, St Joseph's national school in Bree, has benefited as one among a wave of approvals for long sought improvements, eradicating pre-fabs from many of the campuses. Others which have had extensions built in recent times include Ballymurn NS, Oylegate NS and Ballyhogue NS.
Substantial improvements are on the way for other schools in an around Enniscorthy. Deputy Kehoe's former secondary school St Mary's CBS is poised to add a block of new classrooms. On the other side of town, St. Senan's primary school is set for a multi-million euro improvement plan, pending a Bord Pleanála decision on an objection from neighbouring residents to aspects of the plan.
Planning permission came through recently for a brand new building for St Patrick's special school, whose pupils are currently split between sites in Bohreen Hill and Pearse Road. St. Patrick's will be built alongside the Gael Scoil in Drumgoold - another new premises.
However, the most substantial project of the lot is the one under way at Nunnery Road in Enniscorthy.
The cranes tower over the site of what is being billed as the biggest ever investment in any primary school building project in the state outside Dublin. St Aidan's primary is undergoing a €7.5 million transformation which will make it the largest primary school beyond the capital city.
Not every teacher is happy, of course. Some schools have problems keeping older buildings up to standard but the scale of improvements is none the less spectacular.