With regard to the schools sector, my Department’s capital programme continues to address the challenge posed by a rapidly increasing school population. To meet this demographic challenge, during the course of 2019 over 80 large scale projects and 140 projects under the Additional Accommodation Scheme will be under construction. Details on those projects and on all other school projects that are being progressed through the architectural planning process towards tender and construction are available on my Departments website at www.education.ie. The Department is also increasing its investment in higher education infrastructure; many of these projects are currently in the planning phase.
The success of the schools building programme is predicated on the need to ensure that at any given time, there are sufficient number of school projects available to proceed to construction. If this is not the case, then there is the risk that capital monies made available for the purpose of accommodating children at primary and post-primary level, cannot be spent and that the State cannot provide for school buildings at maximum capacity. This ensures that when some projects experience delays such as site issues, planning difficulties, design challenges, etc., other projects can be progressed.
The Department seeks to progress all approved education building projects to completion as soon as possible and works towards this objective in all cases.