Planning permission has been approved this week for the second of two schools at Killane, Edenderry, paving the way for construction in 2013 as planned in a school building programme announced by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn last March.
The green light was given to the second of the two projects by Offaly planners last Wednesday, June 6.
The new two-storey school building, which will house Scoil Bhride, will include 30 classrooms, a special needs unit and a library.
The site that measures just over two hectares will also include play areas and ball courts as well as 70 car parking spaces.
This week's planning approval follows a decision made on May 29 last allowing for the construction of an eight classroom school with outdoor play facilities and 19 car parking spaces for Gaelscoil Eadan Doire on an area covering just over one hectare on the same site
Edenderry councillor Noel Bourke welcomed the news this week.
He said Gaelscoil Eadan Doire is currently housed in temporary accmmodation in a busy part of Edenderry that is not appropriate for a primary school, while Scoile Bhride currently operates from prefabs and badly needs new accommodation.
"With the two existing St Mary's primary schools along with Scoil Bhride and the Gaelscoil parents in the Edenderry catchment area now have a great choice of schools to which they can send their children," Cllr Bourke said.
Offaly County Councillors controversially voted to rezone land at Killane last June, in order to clear the way for school accommodation to be built on the site that was handpicked by the Department of Education.
Local opinion at the time questioned whether the site was the best one for school accommodation in the town, and concerns about traffic congestion and access were raised.
This week Cllr Bourke said he would have preferred the two new schools set for Killane to be located in a more central part of Edenderry. "But this was the location selected by the Department of Education and to raise objections at this time would delay indefinitely the provision of the schools which are so badly needed," he said.