Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (128, 130)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

128. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of schools at primary and second level throughout the country at which he has managed to replace temporary school buildings with permanent structures in each of the past two years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32511/13]

View answer

Bernard Durkan

Question:

130. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of schools at primary and second level throughout County Kildare at which he has managed to replace temporary school buildings with permanent structures in each of the past three years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32513/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 128 and 130 together.

The Deputy will be aware that under the Prefab Replacement Initiative 2012, approval was given to 170 schools nationally to replace 458 prefab units with permanent accommodation. In excess of €42 million was allocated for this initiative. Some thirty projects have been completed with approximately 100 others on site.

In June of this year, I announced a further initiative to replace prefab units with permanent accommodation. A total of €15 million has been allocated in 2013/2014 for this purpose. Forty-six schools, with 115 prefab units, will be offered grants to provide the new facilities.

Replacing prefabs is part of this Government's €475 million education infrastructure plan for 2014. The Plan will provide modern, high quality accommodation for pupils and teachers and construction related jobs for workers around the county.

The Deputy will also be aware that the Five Year Construction Plan, that I announced on 9 March 2012, outlines the major school projects that will commence construction over the duration of the Plan. The primary aim at the core of the Plan is focused on meeting demographic demands to ensure that every child will have access to a physical school place and that our school system is in a position to cope with increasing pupil numbers. The replacement of temporary accommodation with permanent structures may form part of the accommodation brief for some projects being delivered under this Plan.

In addition, due to additional funding made available for the schools' building programme as part of the Government's "Investing in Infrastructure & Jobs" package announced recently, school projects that were not contained in the 5 year programme but have completed extensive architectural planning are now being progressed to tender and construction. Where appropriate, this too will address the replacement of temporary accommodation with permanent structures.

Details of all works funded, including those for schools in Kildare, under the above initiatives including Prefab Replacement and Additional Accommodation Schemes, are available on my Department's website and this is updated on a regular basis.