Thursday, 21 October 2004
Schools Building Projects.
Noel Ahern (Minister of State, Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs; Dublin North West, Fianna Fail)
I thank the Senator for affording me the opportunity to outline the proposals of the Department of Education and Science regarding the proposed extension project at Scoil Mhuire, Convent of Mercy, Strokestown, County Roscommon. The Department received an application from the school authorities for the provision of an extension to the existing building at Scoil Mhuire. The proposed extension project for the school is at the early stages of architectural planning and has been assigned a band 2 rating by the Department in accordance with the published criteria for prioritising projects.
When publishing the 2004 schools building programme, the Department outlined that its strategy going forward will be grounded in capital investment based on multi-annual allocations. Officials from the planning and building section of the Department are also reviewing all projects that were not authorised to proceed to construction as part of the 2004 school building programme, including the project at Scoil Mhuire, with a view to including them as part of a multi-annual programme from 2005. The Department expects to make a further announcement in this regard later in the year.
I will convey the Senator's comments to the Minister for Education and Science. It very much depends on the allocation in the Estimates, which will issue in the second or third week of November. Within a few weeks of their publication, the Department will roll out its proposals for next year.