Written Answers. - Schools Building Projects.

Paddy McHugh

Ceist:

226 Mr. McHugh asked the Minister for Education and Science the progress which has been made in finalising the purchase of a site for a new school to replace the existing one at Cahergal national school, County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19428/03]

Paddy McHugh

Ceist:

227 Mr. McHugh asked the Minister for Education and Science the progress which has been made in finalising the purchase of a site for a new school to replace the existing one at Cahergal national school, County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19429/03]

Paddy McHugh

Ceist:

228 Mr. McHugh asked the Minister for Education and Science the position in relation to Cahergal national school, County Galway; when this project will proceed to the next stage; when it can be expected this project will proceed to construction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19430/03]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 226 to 228, inclusive, together.

The Deputy will be aware that, in line with the commitment in the programme for Government, my Department put in place a pilot initiative aimed at devolving responsibility for the planning and construction phases of improvement works to school authorities. This initiative is focused on small and mostly rural primary schools where the enrolment profile is stable. Some 20 schools were included in the pilot phase. The initiative will be reviewed at the end of 2003 with a view to its extension, subject to the availability of funding, to other small primary schools in 2004.

My Department is committed to providing improved accommodation at Cahergal national school and it will considered, along with the many other applications on hand, for inclusion in any expansion of the pilot devolved initiative. Based on the budgetary allocation, it is not possible for my Department to make financial provision towards the purchase of a site extension at Cahergal national school.

Paddy McHugh

Ceist:

229 Mr. McHugh asked the Minister for Education and Science the position in relation to Castlehackett national school, Tuam, County Galway; when this project will proceed to the next stage; when it can be expected this project will proceed to construction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19431/03]

The proposed large-scale building project for Castlehackett national school is listed in section 7 of the 2003 school building programme which I published on my Department's website at www.education.ie This project is at an early stage of architectural planning and has been assigned a band 2 by my Department in accordance with the published criteria for prioritising large-scale projects.

Projects listed in sections 6 and 7 (primary) are not being authorised to progress beyond their current stage of architectural planning for the time being. The timing of when projects listed in these sections can progress to tender and construction will depend on the budgetary allocation for 2004 and subsequent years and the priority afforded to each project by reference to the band rating.

Paddy McHugh

Ceist:

230 Mr. McHugh asked the Minister for Education and Science the position in relation to Newtown girls national school, Abbeyknockmoy, County Galway; when this project will proceed to the next stage; when it can be expected this project will proceed to construction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19432/03]

The proposed large-scale building project for Newtown girls national school is listed in section 7 of the 2003 school building programme which I published on my Department's website at www.education.ie This project is at an early stage of architectural planning and has been assigned a band 2 by my Department in accordance with the published criteria for prioritising large-scale projects.

Projects listed in sections 6 and 7 (primary) are not being authorised to progress beyond their current stage of architectural planning for the time being. The timing of when projects listed in these sections can progress to tender and construction will depend on the budgetary allocation for 2004 and subsequent years and the priority afforded to each project by reference to the band rating.

Mary Wallace

Ceist:

231 Ms M. Wallace asked the Minister for Education and Science the proposals of his planning unit regarding the Ratoath post-primary school project including site acquisition and proposed pupil numbers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19433/03]

It is proposed to provide a new post-primary school in Ratoath to cater for 875 pupils. Officials in the building unit of my Department are in communication with County Meath Vocational Educational Committee regarding the acquisition of a suitable site, which has been identified, and the chief executive officer is currently negotiating the purchase of this site.

In view of the scale of the school building programme, as now published on my Department's website, and having regard to the level of financial commitments to be met from projects already in construction, my Department does not envisage that it will be in a position during the current year to initiate architectural planning for this project. The timing of when the project can commence architectural planning is dependent on the financial allocation for 2004 and subsequent years.

Question No. 232 answered with Question No. 174.

Question No. 233 answered with Question No. 173.

Question No. 234 answered with Question No. 172.

Question No. 235 answered with Question No. 171.
Question No. 236 answered with Question No. 170.
Question No. 237 answered with Question No. 168.