Written Answers. - Physical Education Facilities.

Willie Penrose


977 Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will provide the necessary capital funding to Westmeath Vocational Educational Committee to enable it to provide the gymnasium at Mullingar community college, County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1568/99]

It is the policy of my Department to provide PE halls as part of the schedule of accommodation for all new post-primary schools. PE halls are also provided when a major extension to a school which does not have such a facility is being built. In addition, my Department has a programme for providing PE halls as stand-alone projects at post-primary schools which do not already have this facility. There are a number of these projects in architectural planning at present and a number have also proceeded to construction.

The question of providing physical education facilities at Mullingar community college can only be considered in the context of capital available for post-primary building purposes generally. Because of the demand for accommodation in schools throughout the country, I am not in a position at this stage to state when a gymnasium will be provided in this particular case. However, I can assure the Deputy that this application will continue to be reviewed in light of available resources and competing priorities.