Building works for the long awaited Lusk Community College began in 2012. In spite of an originally scheduled completion date of 2014, the second and final phase of the Lusk Community College building project is now not expected to be completed until the end of 2019. That is the best-case scenario from the Department of Education, which assumes that there will be no further delays, much to the dismay of local parents.
Speaking to the County Leader, Michael Lenehan of the Lusk Parent’s Association said, ‘A five-year delay in a building project of this size would be regarded as a calamity by any standards. Yet, if recent press statements are to be believed, Lusk people are being asked to rejoice at the prospect of a 2019 target completion date,” he said.
As the school will be at capacity from September onwards, the parents are worried about the effect that the overcrowding will have on their children’s school experience.
Caroline O’Malley of the Parents Association said that, ‘overcrowding and congestion are now part of daily life in the school. Classroom accommodation – in the form of prefabs – is being added to meet the increased student numbers and that two storey prefabs will be needed from September onwards, as another year group will be joining the school,” she said.
“More importantly, shared school resources will come under further pressure, with no communal area to accommodate all the pupils, many of the year groups have to stay in the prefabs during lunch time. This is a highly unsatisfactory state of affairs for pupils and teachers alike and is certain to have a detrimental effect on learning outcomes for years to come,” she concluded.
Parents claim that, despite the litany of delays that has beset this project, there has never once been an indication of an increased sense of urgency on the part of either the Department of Education, or the school patron body the Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB). Neither has there been any responsibility taken by either party for the delays, with each placing the blame on the other without specifying what has caused them.
The Parents Association of Lusk Community College are urging local political representatives to use their influence with the parties involved to expedite this project and finally bring it to completion. Caroline O’Malley stated that, “we were told the quick build 1st phase would hold 350 pupils and that the conventional build 2nd phase would be completed in 2014, in time to accommodate the remainder of the pupils of the school. The school will now be at full capacity from September with a further two year delay in completion.”