Dáil debates

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Schools Building Projects

4:45 pm

Photo of Dara CallearyDara Calleary (Mayo, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Deputy and apologise on behalf of the Minister for Education, who is in Roscommon today. She has assured me she is working with the Minister for Health to try to progress the issue the Deputy raised.

In April 2018, the then Government announced plans for the establishment of 47 new schools between 2019 and 2022, including a new regional solution at post-primary level for the Kilcoole and Greystones school planning area, and the school in question opened in Greystones for the 2021-22 school year.

The permanent building project for Greystones Community College, raised by the Deputy, is being delivered under the Department’s design and build programme, which uses a professional external project manager to progress projects through the stages of architectural planning, tender and construction. As part of the conditions of sale of the permanent site for the school at Glenheron, Greystones, the lodgment of the application for planning permission for the project was under the remit of the vendor, and the Department worked closely with the vendor on the planning application for the new school. Planning permission was submitted to the local authority on 21 February 2022 for the development of a new 1,000-pupil post-primary school and four classrooms for children with special educational needs, a PE hall, an associated staff car park, ball courts and ancillary accommodation at Glenheron. The final grant of planning permission, which was subject to 11 conditions, was received on 19 May 2022.

The Department has a large pipeline of projects for delivery under the schools building programme. The main elements of the pipeline currently involve more than 1,300 schools building projects for delivery under the Department’s large-scale and additional accommodation scheme. These projects are in progress at the various stages of planning, design, tender and construction. The Department has a strong record in the delivery of school buildings. During the period 2018 to 2021, 691 schools building projects were completed under the large-scale capital programme, LSCP, and the additional school accommodation scheme, ASA. These projects delivered more than 64,000 school places. While the numbers have yet to be finalised, it is estimated that more than 150 schools building projects were delivered in 2022.

This month, the Department will assess the overall requirements for 2023 and the associated work programme and will update the patron body for Greystones Community College in due course. As the Deputy outlined, the school is currently located in interim accommodation on the Greystones Éire Óg GAA site and the Greystones Rugby Football Club site. The Minister assures the Deputy that she and the Minister for Health are working closely to try to bring this matter to a speedy conclusion.


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