Dáil Éireann - Volume 599 - 09 March, 2005
Written Answers. - Schools Refurbishment.
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
283. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science if she will initiate a programme to replace all the prefabricated school buildings throughout the country within a specified period; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8295/05]
Ms Hanafin Ms Hanafin
Ms Hanafin:It is the policy of my Department to provide a permanent accommodation solution in so far as possible to meet accommodation demands in schools. However, the time span involved in architectural design and obtaining planning permission effectively means that it may not be possible in all instances to provide a permanent accommodation solution as soon as it is  required and in these cases temporary accommodation is provided as an interim measure.
This Government has shown its commitment to modernising the facilities in our schools, including the replacement of prefabricated buildings with permanent accommodation, through the record levels of funding for school building works in recent years. Next year we will spend €493 million on school buildings, which represents an increase of 14% on 2004 and is six times the 1997 allocation.
Modernising the facilities in all 3,200 primary and 750 post-primary schools is not an easy task given the legacy of decades of under investment in this area as well as the need to respond to emerging needs in new population areas. However, I am determined to ensure that every child in this country is educated in a suitable and comfortable environment. The 14% increase in funding for school buildings in 2005 is clear proof of my commitment to this goal.
Since the beginning of the year I have made a number of announcements relating to the school building and modernisation programme. In this year alone €270 million will be allocated to primary schools and €223 million to post-primary schools for building works. This represents an increase of 14% on the 2004 allocation.
Dáil Éireann 599 Written Answers. Schools Refurbishment.