Enabling Works Behind Delays To Midlands Special School Plans - Fianna Fáil

It's hoped the project can be developed as "early as possible."

Enabling works are behind the lack of a go-ahead for the development of a new special school building in the midlands.

That's according to Laois Offaly Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming, who hopes progression of the new Kolbe Special School build in Portlaoise can start "as early as possible."

There are currently two ESB lines involved in the enabling works - the first is expected to be completed this month, while works on the second can commence when the wayleave and licence are put in place between the HSE, Kolbe and the ESB.

Deputy Fleming says a contractor can't get on-site until that is finished:

The Department of Education has given a commitment to keep a midlands special school informed on plans for a new building.

Parents and staff at Kolbe Special School in Portlaoise have been raising concerns about a lack of consultation from the State regarding the progression of a new build.

The Department says it was engaging with the School Authorities on an ongoing basis during the design stage of the plans, and will continue to do so as the project progresses and an on-site start date becomes clear.

Deputy Fleming says he agrees the issues have been going on too long:

In a statement to Midlands 103, the Department of Education says:

"The design team and relevant officials from the department engaged with the School Authorities on an ongoing basis during the design stages of architectural planning.

At this current stage the design team primarily are involved in the tender process to appoint the contractor, ensuring the School Authorities are kept fully up to date.

Once a contractor has been appointed, department officials will be in contact with the school to advise them of the progression of the project and the ‘on-site’ start date."

Read More: "Decades Of Delay" Taking Its Toll At Midlands Special School

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