Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party and Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has said that confirmation of the extension of Athy Community College by the Department of Education will be a massive investment for the whole town of Athy. The Department has written to the Kildare Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB) to ask them to undertake the extension under the devolved grant system.

“The 600 pupil extension which will be built by KWETB is expected to cost circa €10m and will bring Athy Community College up to a 1,000 pupil school. This along with the extension of Ard Scoil na Trinoide will cater for the increased demand in the area for secondary school places for many years to come.

“I have consistently raised the need for extensions to Athy Community College, Cross & Passion College Kilcullen and the Patrician Post Primary School in Newbridge as well as the need for new school buildings on the Curragh Camp. The demand on secondary school places in south Kildare is so significant that I have continued to push for the increased capacity to be delivered as soon as possible.

“While the Department of Education has written to KWETB to ask them to deliver the extension to Athy Community College under a devolved grant scheme, I am very hopeful that Cross & Passion College Kilcullen will also get the go ahead to proceed to appoint a design team in the very near future. In response to a recent parliamentary question, Minister Richard Bruton has informed me that officials from his department will visit Patrician Post Primary Newbridge in the coming weeks to progress their extension also.

“I am delighted for Richard Daly, the principal of Athy Community College and all of his very dedicated staff that the great work they do on the fantastic education campus in Athy is being recognised by the Department, as is the need for increased provision of secondary school places in Kildare South. I will continue to work with the school board of management throughout the process until we see the extension delivered, hopefully in the very near future.