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Students at St Mary’s Secondary School in Bolans will have to wait until at least Monday to return to the classroom due to delays to ongoing construction.

Works at the flood-prone site have been underway for several months and education officials had hoped they would be completed in time for the new school year.

But when the first students returned this morning (Tuesday), the grounds were still a mudpit as contractors grapple to finish laying new pipes and materials to drive rainwater away. Last weekend’s heavy rains are said to have hindered progress.

Forty first form youngsters attended a two-hour orientation today as part of a phased reintroduction to the classroom.

Director of Education Clare Browne told Observer that while renovations to classrooms were largely complete, the ministry had decided to delay the school’s reopening to its 220 students to give contractors space to work on the grounds unimpeded.

St Mary’s will remain closed for the remainder of the week, pending an assessment on Friday.

Browne said officials were keen to get children back to education as quickly as possible but that staff and students could not be subjected to conditions that were not conducive to learning.

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