The Minister for Education & Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., today announced a further initiative to replace prefab units in schools with permanent accommodation.
A total of €15 million has been allocated in 2013/14 to replace prefabs and provide permanent resource rooms and classrooms for some 2,650 students. Forty-six schools, with 115 prefab units, will be offered grants to provide the new facilities. In 2012 the Department of Education and Skills provided funding to replace of over 458 prefab units.
This prefab replacement investment comes a week after the announcement of 28 major school building projects following the additional €50 million secured by the Department of Education and Skills as part of the Government’s “Investing in Infrastructure & Jobs” package. This will see 18 primary schools and 10 post-primary schools replaced or refurbished to provide state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities for over 12,000 students.
Announcing the 2013/14 prefab replacement scheme today the Minister said: “The last prefab replacement initiative was a great success, with over €23.6 million spent to date, 30 projects completed, and a further 100 projects on site.”
“Replacing prefabs offers better accommodation for students and savings for schools and the Exchequer, as well as providing construction jobs. So I am delighted that we are building on the Programme for Government commitment to reduce reliance on rented prefabs in schools and extending the benefits to other parts of the country.”
Savings of almost €5 million per annum on prefab rental will be achieved under the previous initiative, with a further saving of some €2 million from today’s announcement. This announcement will result in the creation of an estimated 300 direct and 60 indirect jobs. A further 1,200 direct and indirect construction jobs are expected to be created at the 28 new school building projects.
Replacing prefabs is part of the Government’s €475 million education infrastructure plan for 2014. This Plan will provide modern, high quality accommodation for pupils and teachers and construction related jobs for workers around the country.
The Department’s total investment in 28 new school projects will come to €100 million, with the balance coming from the existing €2.2 billion school building budget for 2012 and 2016.