Six new schools to provide work for over 1,000
MORE than 1,000 construction jobs will be created as work gets under way on six state-of-the-art schools.
They will be built over the next 18 months under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme.
But as Education Minster Mary Coughlan signed the contract, she admitted the regular school-building programme had been hit by delays.
She said spending on the 2010 €579m programme was behind target, partly because of planning issues and the bad winter weather.
However, the minister insisted the final outcome would not be as bad as last year when €79m of the school building budget was left unspent.
She told the Oireachtas Select Committee on Education she wanted to look at ways where another project could move ahead if one was hit by an unforeseen delay.
The 2010 school-building programme announcement in February heralded 52 major projects, including 20 new schools and 32 extensions, to create 23,500 school places and 5,300 jobs in construction.
The six schools -- five at second level and one primary -- will provide places for 4,700 pupils when they open in 2011.
It is the second bundle of schools to be built under PPP, which provides for Macquarie Partnerships for Ireland (MPFI) to design and build the schools.
The Government pays over 25 years, while MPFI is also contracted to ensure that classrooms, laboratories, specialist equipment, heating and lighting are available every day.
The Government has committed €1.35bn for PPP schools under the National Development Plan (NDP) 2007-2013.
The six schools are:
- Bantry Community College, Co Cork -- an amalgamation of St Goban's College and Ard Scoil Phobail.
- Gaelscoil Bheanntraí, Co Cork a new eight-classroom primary school.
- Kildare Town Community School, Co Kildare -- an amalgamation of St Joseph's Academy, Presentation Secondary School and Vocational School.
- Abbeyfeale Community College, Co Limerick -- an amalgamation of St Ita's College, St Joseph's Secondary School and Vocational School.
- Wicklow Town Community College, Co Wicklow -- an amalgamation of Abbey Vocational School and De La Salle Secondary School.
- Athboy Community School, Co Meath -- an amalgamation of St Joseph's Secondary School and St James' Vocational School.