A multi-use education campus is currently under construction in Monaghan to provide learning facilities for students at primary, post-primary and further education levels.
The €35 million Monaghan Education Campus is being carried out on the site of a former military barracks and will consist of three educational facilities housed within a 20-acre campus. The project is currently the largest school campus to take shape in Ireland and will comprise a 16-classroom all Irish primary school for Gaelscoil Ultain, a 400-pupil all Irish post-primary school for Gaelcholáiste Oiriall, and a 700-student institute for further education.
As part of the construction of the campus a sports hall, playing pitches and a car park will be included to provide additional facilities for staff and students.
A new theatre will also be constructed in order to replace the existing PLC College and Theatre. The building will become the new home of the Garage Theatre and will receive €3.3 million in grant-aided funding from the Department of Education & Skills and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltact.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, championed the construction of the theatre and referred to it as ‘an important addition to the arts and the cultural infrastructure in the border region’.
In November 2009 education authority County Monaghan VEC was selected to oversee and manage the procurement, planning and building of the campus. Monaghan VEC is the first education authority to be chosen by the Department of Education and Skills to manage a project like this and aims to provide students with courses that will eventually generate exciting new industries in Ireland.
The construction of Monaghan Education Campus is also being hailed as an important step forward for education in Ireland by education officials who believe that the facility’s name will quickly become a world recognised brand of excellence.
Once complete, the campus will fall in line with the government’s view that shared campuses are the preferred model for the educational infrastructure in areas of demographic growth.
Minister for Education & Skills, Ruairí Quinn, said:
“I want to congratulate Co. Monaghan Vocational Education Committee on the tremendous work involved in bringing this project to construction.
“This is a shining example of where the local VEC has worked closely with my department and the Gaelscoil to ensure delivery of a state of the art education campus for the benefit of all in the Monaghan area.
“The benefits of working with the people on a local level are clear in relation to the timeframes achieved with this project.”
Monaghan Education Campus will be completed in September 2012 in time for the Winter Term.
John Sisk & Son Ltd is the main contractor on the campus, whilst Stephen Oppermann of Oppermann and Associates is the architect.