Dáil Éireann - Volume 589 - 07 October, 2004

Written Answers. - Schools Building Projects.

  133. Ms Enright asked the Minister for Education and Science if schools (details supplied) in County Offaly will be included in the five year building plan being drawn up by her Department; when this building plan will be announced; if the fact that the school has a priority rating of one as an amalgamation will advance it to proceed in 2004/2005; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23844/04]

  Ms Hanafin: As the Deputy will be aware, the schools to which she refers have agreed to amalgamate to form a new community school. Following technical assessments of the existing buildings, it has been agreed that the new school should be accommodated in a purpose built facility on a greenfield site catering for 550 pupils. I am pleased to inform the Deputy that a suitable site has been identified for this purpose and that my Department has given its approval to the vocational education committee to pursue the acquisition of this site.

With regard to the provision of the building, the school planning section of my Department is currently examining all building projects on hands in line with the project prioritisation criteria that were recently revised in consultation with the education partners. I expect to be in a position to provide an update in relation to the progress of individual projects later this year. I [1679] assure the Deputy, however, that the project to which she refers carries a high priority rating in line with the agreed criteria for prioritising large scale projects. This ranking will positively influence the timescale for delivery of the project.