ANOTHER milestone has been reached in a €75 million programme that will change the face of one of Tralee’s most disadvantaged areas.
Tralee Town Council has signed a contract to build six additional units and a laundry room at Tobar Naofa as part of the Mitchels-Boherbee Community Regeneration Project.
The Tobar Naofa complex consists of four apartment blocks with a total of 42 apartments, all of which have been designed to "House of Tomorrow" standards and are heated by a district heating system fuelled by a wood chip boiler.
The contract for the new units has been awarded to Ned O’Shea & Sons, Tralee.
The units and the laundry room will be constructed as part of the existing complex at Tobar Naofa, which was recently awarded an excellence in local government award by Chambers Ireland for its district heating system.
The units will be a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments which will be wheelchair accessible.
Once constructed, they will be allocated to residents downsizing from the immediate area.
It is anticipated they will be completed by August 2010.
Future plans for the Tobar Naofa complex include the refurbishment of Moyderwell Convent to provide a daycare centre for the elderly on the ground floor and eight more apartments on the first floor.
Tralee Town Council is hoping work will start on the convent in 2010.
"Despite the tough economic climate, the Government is committed to supporting the Mitchels-Boherbee Community Regeneration Project," Tralee town clerk Michael Scannell said.
Work is presently underway on the levelling of 51 houses in Mitchels Crescent as well as 18 houses in the nearby St Patrick’s Bungalows.
The demolition phase of the project will take around 12 weeks and will pave the way for the development of a new street which is intended to change the image of the area.
It will also include an integrated services building on the site, which will allow for greater co-ordination of services.
The services will include training courses and enterprise space for use by people within the immediate area and the wider community in Tralee.
The first phase of theregeneration project saw the building of Tobar Naofa on the former St Mary’s Secondary School site, in Moyderwell.
In the past two years, the town council has successfully relocated 40 families from the Mitchels Crescent area in preparation for the demolition phase of the programme.