The long running issue of securing a permanent location for St. Teresa’s Special School in Ballinasloe has come closer to fruition with the acquisition of a site for the school.
Galway TD Denis Naughten said that a four acre site for the construction of a new school has been secured from the HSE.
“This is a very positive development in the ongoing saga of securing a site, but the news will be apprehensively received by the pupils, parents and staff of St. Teresa’s, as it is now imperative that the detailed planning and design proceeds without delay,” explained Denis Naughten.
St. Teresa’s, which has 15 staff and 20 students and is operated by Ability West, is currently accommodated at Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre in Creagh.
Though it was included in the Department’s six year capital programme back in 2015, work on developing a new school suffered setbacks after previous negotiations to secure a site collapsed.
“We now need a clear commitment of funding for this project,” Denis Naughten said. “For far too long children with special needs have had to travel great distances to access education.”
“We now have a facility on our doorstep, and we need a commitment that the money will be put in place to allow for the construction of a purpose-built school for the children of Ballinasloe, East Galway and South Roscommon.”
The special needs school has dealt with financial hardships in recent years after its insurance premiums rose by over 700% between 2017 and 2019, requiring emergency government funding to stay open.