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Schools Building Projects

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 12 May 2022

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Ceisteanna (256)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

256. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education the extent to which primary and second-level provision continues to be made to meet the education needs of children in Celbridge, County Kildare with particular reference to the various planned and ongoing school building projects; the precise current position of each school building project and primary and second-level in this area; the extent to which any or all issues likely to impact on the progression of each project have been dealt with or are currently in hand; the expected completion date for each project; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24072/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that in order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a Geographical Information System, using data from a range of sources, including Child Benefit and school enrolment data, to identify where the pressure for school places across the country, including County Kildare, will arise and where additional school accommodation is needed at primary and post-primary level.

My Department utilises this Geographic Information System (GIS) to support its strategic planning for capital investment. Where the geospatial assessment of demand and capacity in an area indicates that additional provision is required my Department considers the options of extending the capacity of a school or schools, or of providing a new school or schools. The timing and duration of the accommodation need is also considered in determining the optimum accommodation solution.

My Department has a large pipeline of projects for delivery under the school building programme. The main elements of this pipeline currently involve in excess of 1,300 school building projects for delivery under the Department’s Large Scale and Additional Accommodation Scheme. These projects are currently in progress across the various stages of planning, design, tender and construction, most of which are expected to be either under construction or completed in the period up to 2025.

There are currently in excess of 250 school building projects at construction (on site) with a continuous stream of other projects at or near the tendering stage which are being progressed as quickly as possible.

It is anticipated that 150 to 200 school building projects will be completed annually during the 2022 to 2025 period.

A project to provide for three schools (St Raphael’s Special School, Scoil Naomh Padraig, Celbridge Community School) on a single campus in Celbridge has been devolved to the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) for delivery as part of a programme of school building projects.

A letter was issued to the school on the 18th February 2022. This letter advised the school that the NDFA will write to them once all the preparation works are complete to make arrangements to meet to discuss the project brief for the school and the expected timeline for the project.

Conveyancing for the site acquisition for this project is at an advanced stage. Due to the commercially sensitive nature of site acquisitions generally, it is not possible to comment further at this stage.

The current status of approved projects is listed on a county by county basis on www.gov.ie and is updated on a monthly basis to reflect their progress through the various stages.

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