Students in Monasterevin build an extension to their school, but the structure does not qualify for Department of Education funding.

Ten 5th year students at St Paul's Secondary School in Monasterevin, County Kildare have spent their summer holidays building a two room extension to their school. The work will be considered as their project in construction studies for the Leaving Certificate examination.

To date the total cost of building the new classroom and storage facility is £16,000 and much of the money has been collected through fundraising. Tendering the job out would have cost upwards of £80,000 and taken much longer to build than 10 weeks.

Deirdre Lovern explains the group worked Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm. In the final stages of the build, the students stayed up late so they would meet their deadline.

I'm very proud of it, delighted to see it finished.

From working on the project, student Leo Kelly learned practical skills that he would not have gained from books alone. That said, he is not planning on making a living from construction,

I’ll stick to the farming.

Headteacher Noel Maher is grateful for the financial donations the local community have given to the project. He would now like the Department of Education to contribute a minimum of £6,000 so the school can pay creditors. For its part the department says,

School buildings provided without its prior agreement don’t qualify for grant assistance.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 25 August 1993. The reporter is Tom Kelly.