independent

Monday 11 November 2019

Loreto order puts old school up for sale at €1.75m

The old Loreto School on Spawell Road in Wexford
The old Loreto School on Spawell Road in Wexford

Maria Pepper

The old Loreto School in Wexford is up for sale at a guide price of €1.75 million following the completion of a new multi million euro secondary school in Killeens which was provided by the Department of Education under a Public Private Partnership Scheme.

The Loreto order has placed the 6.28 acre property at Spawell Road on the market for sale by private treaty. It comprises the former school and convent buildings on a prominent and elevated site overlooking Wexford Harbour, just half a kilometre from the town centre.

The site includes several interlinked buildings and sixty car parking spaces set in the middle of a residential housing area. Some of the buildings, including the convent are listed as protected structures for historical preservation under heritage regulations.

'The time is right for the sale. It's a fillet of a property', said Adrian Haythorntwaite of Sherry Fitzgerald Haythorntwaite who are joint selling agents for the property with Cushman & Wakefield in Dublin.

'It's in a good area with housing on all sides and comprises an excellent set of buildings that have been well maintained. Some of them are listed and what that simply means is that there will have to be close consultation with the planners', he said.

'The buyer is most likely going to be a developer who will see the potential of the buildings as one agenda and the development of the lands as another', said the auctioneer, adding that he anticipates immediate interest in the property.

'I would expect it to be sold at somewhere between €1.75 and €2 million. I expect that it will happen quickly', Mr. Haythorntwaite added.

The land is currently zoned Town Centre with a sample of permissible uses including residential, office, retail, hotel and a hostel. In the sale brochure, the auctioneers point out that it 'benefits from amenities and services and would ideally suit a residential development, subject to planning permission, capitalising on the high levels of demand in the residential market'.

The new Loreto secondary school opened last September after months of uncertainty following the collapse of the UK construction giant Carillion and the main contractors, Sammon Group Ltd, brought a halt to work for a time on the almost-completed building and necessitated the appointment of an alternative contractor.

There were protests by sub-contractors, including Wexford companies, who were left unpaid to the tune of several thousands of euro for work carried out and services supplied to the school project, and who still remain out of pocket.

The opening of the Loreto at Killeens, was the welcome culmination of a 20-year campaign for a new school building to replace the old premises which became overcrowded and outdated for the growing student population.

The Loreto secondary school was first established in Wexford more than 150 years ago in September 1866 by the Sisters of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, better known in Ireland as the Loreto Sisters.

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