Written Answers. - Schools Building Projects.

Seán Crowe

Question:

141 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of the principal, staff and parents of children attending St. Killian's national school, Kingswood, Dublin 24, regarding the fact that there is still asbestos in the roof of this school and the school has no security perimeter; if he has considered the possible implications this could have on the health and safety of the children and staff occupying the school; and the measures he proposes to take to eliminate these dangers. [15134/02]

A programme to identify and remove asbestos from all primary schools is currently being carried out by the Office of Public Works for my Department. My Department has been informed by that office that a survey of St. Killian's national school has been carried out and that the school authorities have been informed of the outcome.

Individual school authorities are responsible for making adequate security arrangements at schools and my Department is prepared to consider applications from boards of management for grant-aid towards the provision of appropriate facilities such as fencing etc.

Architectural planning for a building project including security fencing at St. Killian's national school, Kingswood is at an advanced stage.

Decisions on projects proceeding to tender and construction are taken in the light of the annual allocation for primary school buildings, the financial commitments to be met and the priority to be afforded to individual projects. An extensive building programme for 2002 has already been approved and published. It is not envisaged that the proposed building project at St. Killian's national school will proceed to construction in 2002. Later this year when a financial allocation has been made for the primary school building programme in the 2003 estimates I will be framing a further comprehensive programme of works that will proceed to construction and the school concerned will be one of those considered for inclusion in that programme.
It is my intention to bring greater transparency to the operation of the school building programme and I intend to publish the programme annually. I am also anxious to build a multiannual dimension into the published programme so that schools will have an indication of the expected timelines relating to their project.

Seán Crowe

Question:

142 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of the principal, staff and parents of children attending St. Pius X boys and girls national school, Fortfield Park, Dublin 6W, regarding the fact that, in addition to major refurbishment requirements, this school still has asbestos in the fabrication of its buildings and that there is a lack of classrooms and playing or yard area for the pupils; if he has considered the long-term implications this could have on the health and safety of the children and staff occupying the school; and the measures he proposes to take to resolve this matter. [15135/02]

A programme to identify and remove asbestos from all primary schools is currently being carried out by the Office of Public Works for my Department. My Department has been informed by that office that work to remove asbestos from St. Pius X boys and girls schools will commence shortly.

My Department has an extensive primary school building programme under way at present and this includes a large number of projects at various stages of architectural planning. Decisions on additional projects proceeding to architectural planning are taken in the light of the annual allocation for capital projects, the financial commitments to be met and the priority to be afforded to individual projects. The programme for 2002 is in place and the schools concerned have been notified.

Later this year when a financial allocation has been made for the primary school building programme in the 2003 estimates I will be framing a further comprehensive programme of works and this will involve putting more projects into architectural planning. The needs of St. Pius X boys and girls national school, Fortfield Park, Dublin 6W, will be considered at that time.

It is my intention to bring greater transparency to the operation of the school building programme and I intend to publish the programme annually. I am also anxious to build a multiannual dimension into the published programme so that schools will have an indication of the expected timelines relating to their project.