It is great to see that St Mochta’s have put in their planning application for the demolition of the exiting school and the construction of a new building on the current site. This has been a long time coming, and I warmly welcome it.
This is a really large national school with four separate streams, giving 32 classes in total. The current school is absolutely no longer fit for purpose. The building is far too small for the population of over 800 pupils. Some of the prefabs in which students are taught are dark and extremely damp.
A Task Force (of which I’m a member) was established by the school’s Board of Management a number of years ago, to progress this building project. It has gone to great lengths to keep both the school community and those living in the vicinity informed about the development. A briefing was given in November 2013 during the public meeting on the proposed closing of the Porterstown level crossing. Then late last year, the school organised a public meeting where the architect went through the plans in detail, in order to hear and address any concerns about the design.
A big school like St Mochta’s generates significant traffic. A lot of work in designing the layout of the new building has focused on reducing this as much as possible. Once finished, the new layout will have a much larger drop off area for parents, which will no longer be directly on the Porterstown Road. This will go some way to reducing current levels of congestion.
The architects have also incorporated the old ‘White School’ building into the new design, so this Clonsilla landmark will be preserved and continue to have a function in the school.
Real thought and attention has gone into the planning of this new school building. I strongly support it and I hope that it is swiftly granted planning permission by the Fingal County Council planners.