I wish to advise the Deputy that in line with National Public Health announcements by Government, all construction sites in relation to the Education Sector ceased in March 2020 including those schools under the Schools Remediation Programme.
The construction sector commenced re-opening on a gradual and phased basis since Monday 18th May, this includes a number of school sites under the Schools Remediation Programme. There are currently 20 projects on site undergoing fire and structural remediation works and I can confirm that no projects under the Schools Remediation Programme have been cancelled as a result of Covid-19. It is too early however to speculate on how timelines of projects will be impacted as a result of Covid 19 working arrangements. Guidance and protocols have been published to enable contractors meet the public health requirements for re-opening of construction sites.
During 2019 and 2020 structural remediation works are being carried out on 22 schools and by the end of 2020 it is expected that planned structural remediation works will have been carried out in all of these schools. In addition, it is expected the priority phase 1 fire remediation will have carried out across all 40 schools. A procurement process is currently underway to appoint a contractor for the remaining 18 schools, including Ardgillan Community College.
The Department continues to liaise with School Patrons and School Principals in relation to progress and any impacts of COVID-19 on project delivery timescales.