At least 14 brand new schools will open in the next few years to meet rising population growth
At least 14 brand new schools will open in the next few years to meet rising population growth.
Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan announced the locations today as she unveiled the €3.8bn school building programme 2016-21.
With an election in the air, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Joan Burton also attended the announcement.
See full list here: PDF: Six year Construction Programme 2015 - 2021
Overall the six year programme will cover 324 projects – either new builds or major extensions to provide 19,000 new primary school places and 43,000 new post-primary places. It included 50 projects that were part of the previous plan and which will go to construction in 2016
The minster also promised that the long-term use of pre-fabs in schools would be a thing of the past by 2021.
With the bulge in pupil numbers now moving into second-level, 10 of the new schools will be post-primary, six of which will open in 2017 at Carpenterstown/Castleknock, Dublin 15; Portmarnock/Malahide, Co Dublin; Lucan, Co Dublin; Swords, Co Dublin; Portlaois, Co Laois and Limerick city (south west)
They will be followed in 2018 with three new post-primary schools at Limerick city (east), Firhouse, Dublin 24 and Dublin south city centre, while a new gaelcholáiste is slated for Maynooth, Co Kildare in 2019.
At primary level, new schools will open in Pellettstown, Dublin 7; Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin; Ballincollig, Co Cork, in 2017, and in Dublin south city centre in 2018.
No decision has yet been made on who should run the new schools – and the Department of Education will oversee a process where interested parties will be invited to apply.
Department data also indicates indicates that new schools may be also be necessary at post-primary level in areas such as South Kildare; Enfield (Kilcock feeder area); Galway city; north-west Dublin City; the Dublin 13 & Dublin 17 area; Kinnegad (Killucan feeder area); and the Mallow and Fermoy areas in County Cork, and the Milltown area of Dublin at primary level.
The building programme plan announced today relates to major projects – generally costing in excess of €1m. Funding for smaller projects – such as the addition of a classroom etc. is dealt with on an ongoing basis.
On the pre-fab issue, Ms O’Sullivan said she always believed “it was a scandal that at the height of the Celtic tiger, we focussed on renting prefabs rather than building permanent schools”.
Although originally intended as a short-term solution to accommodation needs, pre-fabs have been an all too familiar part of the Irish educational landscape, with thousands in use at any one time.