Storm adds to prefab misery at school in Balbriggan

by Sylvia Pownall

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Students at St Molaga’s NS in Balbriggan have been left without classrooms after three prefabs were blitzed during Storm Ali.

The children had to be evacuated as gusts in excess of 90km/h ripped through the ‘temporary’ structures – which have been on site since the year 2000.

A roofing contractor has been called in to begin repairs – but it means that two classes and two special education resource rooms are now out of bounds.

A school spokesperson revealed: “We have had to split classes up and distribute pupils to already overcrowded classes. Special education teachers have had to work from the staff room and corridors.”

St Molaga’s Senior NS has almost 500 pupils on its books and 16 prefabs on site, some in a serious state of disrepair. Despite repeated promises of a new school building, students are still consigned to damp, leaky prefabs.

The project is bogged down in red tape and according to the Department of Education it is awaiting the completion of a technical report before it can proceed to architectural planning stage.

Senator Lorraine Clifford Lee (FF) visited the school recently and said the prefabs are no longer fit for purpose.

She said: “The number of pupils in St Molaga’s is steadily rising. It’s less than a month into the new school year and already the existing prefab accommodation is leaving both teachers and pupils in a cold and damp environment.

“Urgent progress must be made on upgrading and extending the school building. The staff and management in St Molaga’s have been providing excellent quality education in Balbriggan for more than 30 years and should be supported to continue with that tradition.

“Ultimately, a new school build is what’s required.”

The school provides regular updates on its website and its twitter account, twitter.com/wheresourschool.

The school spokesperson stressed that with a winter of stormy and unpredictable weather ahead urgent action is needed to safeguard pupils.

They wrote: “As we approach another Autumn and Winter in inadequate accommodation and with unforeseeable weather conditions, we are urging immediate action by the Department of Education on our permanent extension.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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