Irish government announces €250m schools upgrade programme

Construction in Ireland (Mark Gusev/Dreamstime)
Construction has begun on Project Nore, a €250m development to fund seven school buildings in counties Tipperary, Kilkenny, Westmeath and Kildare.

A joint venture between ABM Design and Build and JJ Rhatigan will work on creating spaces for 4,000 students. These will include:

  • A 14 classroom school building at St Mark’s Special School in Newbridge, Co Kildare
  • A 1,000 student building in Kilkenny
  • 24 classrooms at St Canice’s school in Kilkenny
  • A 1,000-student building will be added to Presentation Secondary School in Kilkenny
  • A refurbishment and extension that will create 1,300 places at St Finian’s College in Mullingar, Co Westmeath
  • An eight classroom facility at St Mary’s Special School in Mullingar, Co Westmeath
  • An eight classroom building at Gaelscoil Charraig Na Siuire in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary.

St Mary’s Special School will be relocated to a building on the St Finian’s campus in Mullingar, allowing for a special school with a post-primary school to be integrated.

The projects will incorporate green features such as heat pumps and solar panels.

Project Nore is the first of six bundles organised by the National Development Finance Agency, which will help 24,000 students in 10 counties.

Norma Foley, Ireland’s minister for education, said: “Under Project Ireland 2040, over €5bn is being invested in the school sector over the period 2021-25, which will add capacity and develop and upgrade school facilities across the country for the almost 1 million students and over 100,000 staff.

“The school building programme has approximately 300 projects at construction in 2023 which includes over 40 buildings at a total state investment of over €1bn. There are a further 72 projects currently at the tender process including 27 buildings.”

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