Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Education and Skills

Schools Refurbishment

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding an application for refurbishment of a school (details supplied); the length of time the request has been with his Department; the steps taken in processing the application to date; the reason it has not yet been approved; the estimated cost of the project and the options regarding funding schemes available; if a summary of the technical report on the school will be given; if he has particular Departmental policy on the funding of these small minority schools; if approval will now be given for approval and the processing stages which need to be gone through before approval to go to contract is given. [57428/12]

Photo of Ruairi QuinnRuairi Quinn (Dublin South East, Labour)
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The building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is currently at an advanced stage of architectural planning. My Department has recently approved the stage 2(a) submission and authorised the project to proceed to Stage 2(b) of Architectural Planning which includes application for Planning Permission, Fire Certification, Disability Access Certification (DAC) and the preparation of tender documents. The Deputy will understand that my Department does not disclose the estimated cost of individual projects prior to a tender process due to commercial sensitivities.

My Department makes no distinction based on denomination between primary schools in respect of capital funding applications.

Due to competing demands on my Department's capital budget, imposed by the need to prioritise the limited funding available for the provision of additional school accommodation to meet increasing demographic requirements, it was not possible to include this project in the five year construction programme announced earlier this year.

Schools which have not been included in the five year construction programme, including the one referred to by the Deputy, but which were announced for initial inclusion in the building programme will continue to be progressed to final planning stages in anticipation of the possibility of further funds being available to my Department in future years. The project referred to by the Deputy remains available to be considered for progression in that context.


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