I thank the Leas-Chathaoirleach for selecting this matter. I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Kehoe. It is a pity that the Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy McHugh, could not be here. Naas community college is operated by Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board, KWETB. It has received planning permission on a site that has been selected for some years. My understanding of the current situation is that the tenders have been accepted and examined and it is hopeful that the builders will be on site in November.
The problem is the current situation with the school. The first class that started in the school has reach transition year, TY. It is more than likely that those TY students will not have an opportunity to ever enter the new school. The school is spread over three locations. One is Craddockstown, in temporary structures adjacent to a primary school, while the TY year is housed in what I would term condemned buildings, prefabs, at Pipers' Hill. I understand the Department has spent €60,000 refurbishing those buildings. The Minister of State with responsibility for Defence will certainly understand the importance of physical education, PE, in the life of a student and the reason for the third location used by the school. The local GAA club in Naas has very kindly provided facilities for the school. The three locations are not adjacent to each other; they are located at opposite ends of Naas.
There are 320 applicants for first year in Naas community college this year but the school will have space to accommodate just 120 pupils. There are no classrooms available for those pupils coming into the school in September. The cost to the school, which it raises from its own budget, is €24,000 for shuttle buses to move the students around to the various locations. That does not take into consideration the difficulties teachers also have in moving around those locations. I look forward to the response and update from the Minister of State. The builders will be on site sometime in November, but I am concerned with the current situation. The pupils in TY now will never have access to the new building. What are we going to do over the next year and a half of the building programme? There are no classrooms for the children coming into the school next September.