Dáil Éireann - Volume 649 - 04 March, 2008
Written Answers. - Schools Building Projects.
Deputy Denis Naughten Deputy Denis Naughten
Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Education and Science the extent to which the school building programme has been progressed in the past 12 months with particular  reference to the need to deal with currently inappropriate accommodation in both primary and secondary level here; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8895/08]
Deputy Mary Hanafin Deputy Mary Hanafin
Deputy Mary Hanafin: During the period of the last National Development Plan 2000-2006 my Department accelerated the school building programme with record levels of investment and the streamlining of delivery systems. An aggregate total of well over €2.6 billion was invested in upgrading existing school infrastructure and providing new school accommodation at both first and second-level. This programme delivered over 7,800 building projects in addition to investment in site purchases; the annual minor works grant to all primary schools, science and technology initiatives, contingency works and grants for the purchase of furniture and equipment including improving equipment needed for new technologies and ICT.
Innovations in the delivery of school buildings such as Generic Repeat Designs and the use of the Design and Build model ensure that new school buildings are delivered in the fastest time-frame possible. My Department also adopted a policy of devolving much greater authority to local school management boards to manage and deliver smaller building projects, thereby freeing my Department to concentrate on the larger scale projects.
The budget for 2007 was the first year of the rollout of the new NDP 2007-2013 which will involve an investment of over €4.5 billion in school building infrastructure over the coming years to ensure that school places are available where needed. This investment will be the largest in the history of the State and will enable my Department to continue to take a proactive approach to the provision of modern school accommodation particularly in developing areas and the upgrade of existing accommodation. Construction in 2007 alone involved over 1500 building projects which will deliver over 700 classrooms to provide permanent accommodation for over 17,500 pupils.
The progression of all large scale building projects from initial design stage through to construction phase is considered on an on-going basis in the context of my Department’s Multi-Annual School Building and Modernisation Programme.
The particular emphasis in 2008 is on providing sufficient school places in developing areas, while also showing the Government’s commitment to delivering improvements in the quality of existing primary and post-primary school accommodation throughout the country.
On 1 February, I announced a list of schools which are due to go to construction in 2008. It is also my intention to make a further announcement after Easter to allow a further batch of schools to commence construction and to update progress on the new schools planned for September 2008 delivery in developing areas.
Dáil Éireann 649 Written Answers. Schools Building Projects.