The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn T.D., today announced details of the 56 schools that are planned to advance to construction in 2012. The major projects due to go to construction next year comprise of :
- 26 new schools at primary level
- 12 major extensions at primary level
- 9 new schools at second level
- 9 major extensions at second level
Announcing the programme this morning, the Minister said: “We are prioritising investment in school buildings in line with the Government’s Capital Investment Programme. “Total enrolment in both primary and post-primary schools is expected to grow by around 70,000 between now and 2018 – by over 45,000 at primary level and 25,000 at post primary.
Enrolment will continue to rise at post-primary level to the year 2024 at least. “We have to ensure that every child growing up in Ireland will have access to a physical school place.” In all, €430m will be spent on educational infrastructure next year – representing the first phase of a €2 billion five-year plan for major school building projects.
Details of the five year plan will be published in the coming months. Publication of the plan will also enhance the transparency and openness in the school building system. This substantial investment will provide over 100,000 permanent school places of which over 80,000 will be additional school places - the remainder will be a replacement of temporary or unsatisfactory accommodation.
The Minister indicated that there had been good progress in the school building programme in 2011. “Major building projects for 55 schools, providing permanent places for over 18,500 pupils, have been completed so far this year,” said the Minister. “There are a further 60 schools under construction at the moment, most of which will be completed during 2012.”
The Minister also announced a Post Primary School Design Competition to be organised by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) on behalf of the Department. This will provide a real opportunity for innovative design in new second-level schools. The Minister said that “I’m delighted to be announcing this competition. It is vital that we consider new approaches to the design of new second-level schools given the curricular developments that are underway and the number of new schools to be built over the next 15 years. The successful Design Team will design a new school in Kingswood, Tallaght, and manage its construction with a view to the school opening in late August 2017.”
For full article see Department of Education and Skills