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.