Written answers

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Department of Education and Skills

Schools Building Projects

5:00 pm

Photo of Aodhán Ó RíordáinAodhán Ó Ríordáin (Dublin North Central, Labour)
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Question 47: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a school (details supplied) in Dublin North Central has not received approval for a new school building; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8010/11]

Photo of Ruairi QuinnRuairi Quinn (Minister, Department of Education and Skills; Dublin South East, Labour)
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The school to which the Deputy refers is included in the 2011 school building work programme to progress to secure planning permission and prepare tender documents on a brief for an extension and refurbishment to the existing school.

The design team were authorised to seek Planning Permission based on the approved stage 2(a) design which had initially proposed a two storey extension. However, at a subsequent pre-planning meeting held between the Design Team and Dublin City Council, the Council recommended a single storey extension as the optimal solution on the existing school site. Ultimately the design will have to be one which can secure planning permission from the Council.

My Department has requested the Design Team to submit a revised stage 2(a) design solution to incorporate the Councils recommendations. The design team are currently working on this in conjunction with the school authority which is the client on this project.

Photo of Aodhán Ó RíordáinAodhán Ó Ríordáin (Dublin North Central, Labour)
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Question 48: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a school (details supplied) in Dublin 5 has been refused funding for new windows on the front of the school after previously receiving funding for new windows at the rear of the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8011/11]

Photo of Ruairi QuinnRuairi Quinn (Minister, Department of Education and Skills; Dublin South East, Labour)
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I can confirm that the school in question submitted an application for the works referred to by the Deputy under the 2011 Summer Works Scheme.

A list of 453 successful schools was announced on 30 March 2011 and I regret that the application made by the school referred to by the Deputy was not selected. A letter to this effect has issued to the school.

Applications from schools for gas, mechanical and electrical works were prioritised for Summer Works funding this year.Unfortunately, due to the scale of demand for funding under the scheme, it was not possible to grant aid all applications. The capital budget allocated for the Summer Works Scheme has been reduced in recent years and it has been necessary to prioritise some categories of works over others.

My Department has sought to prioritise the funds that are available towards works that are most relevant to the health and safety of staff and students alike in our schools.

Photo of Aodhán Ó RíordáinAodhán Ó Ríordáin (Dublin North Central, Labour)
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Question 49: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a school (details supplied) in Dublin North Central, which has had an application in for an extension since 2001, has so far been refused the necessary funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8012/11]

Photo of Ruairi QuinnRuairi Quinn (Minister, Department of Education and Skills; Dublin South East, Labour)
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I can confirm that the school to which the Deputy refers applied to my Department for large scale capital funding for a school building project to provide an extension. A design team was appointed and the project reached stage 2(a) of architectural planning in 2007. In accordance with the published criteria for large scale building projects, the project for this school has been assigned a Band 2.4 rating.

The Deputy will understand that it is not possible to advance all projects to tender at the same time. This project was not included in the announcement of the 2011 school building work programme earlier this year.

The progression of all large scale building projects, including this project, from initial design stage through to construction phase will continue to be considered in the context of the Department's multi-annual School Building and Modernisation Programme. However, in light of current competing demands on the Department's capital budget, it is not possible to give an indicative timeframe for the progression of a project for the school in question at this time.

Photo of Aodhán Ó RíordáinAodhán Ó Ríordáin (Dublin North Central, Labour)
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Question 50: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a school (details supplied) in Dublin North Central has been refused funding for a renovation of its front gate, which would allow for quick emergency access for vehicles such as ambulances or fire engines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8013/11]

Photo of Ruairi QuinnRuairi Quinn (Minister, Department of Education and Skills; Dublin South East, Labour)
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An application for funding under my Department's Emergency Works Scheme was received late last year from the school referred to by the Deputy. The application related to new entrance gates The purpose of the Emergency Works Scheme is solely for unforeseen emergencies or to provide funding to facilitate inclusion and access for special needs pupils. An emergency is deemed to be a situation which poses an immediate risk to health, life, property or the environment, which is sudden, unforeseen and requires immediate action and in the case of a school, if not corrected would prevent the school or part thereof from opening.

As the scope of works requested by the school in question is outside the terms of the Emergency Works Scheme, the school has been informed that it cannot be considered for emergency funding.

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