School Parking

Pride of Place – Straide National School Car Park Project

Background

limited space around Straide National School, forced pupils to move between parked and turning vehicles, when entering and exiting the school (see figure 1). The community was concerned about the risk to pupils and decided to act. The owner of the adjacent derelict school master’s cottage was contacted and incredibly donated the site free of charge.

Figure 1. (traffic chaos)

Funding

A CLAR grant, as well as some Councillor’s GMA funding was secured to complete the works. Uniquely, the funding was used for materials purchase only, all plant and labour was provided by the community.

Construction

A community labour force was formed and work commenced with tree felling and site clearance, in September 2018 (see figure 2). Excavators, trucks and tractors, kindly provided by locals, removed circa 600m³ of soil from the site. 4000 blocks were used to construct a retaining wall. A footpath was built to provide a safe corridor for pupils (see figure 3).

Figure 2. (Site Clearance)

Figure 3. (developed site)

Summary

The project is nearing completion, with the final elements programmed for completion during school holidays. The site is open and being used to great effect. This project delivered a significant piece of essential infrastructure to the Straide community, for a very small state investment (€35,000). This was made possible by the extraordinary hard work and commitment given by the local volunteers, board of management, parents association and the Straide community.