Thursday, 27 November 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
183. Deputy Tom Hayes asked the Minister for Education and Science the status of the schools amalgamation project in respect of primary schools in Cahir, County Tipperary; when the next step in the process for this project is planned; the amount that is budgeted for the school building; the level of priority of this project; the number of other projects across the country that have the same level of priority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43337/08]
Minister for Education and Science (Deputy Batt O’Keeffe): The project to which the Deputy refers has a band 1.4 rating under the published prioritisation criteria for large scale building projects. This reflects the fact that accommodation is needed to facilitate an amalgamation. The project, which involves the acquisition of land to extend the site, is in the early stages of architectural planning. It is included among over 360 other projects at the various stages of this process. Of these projects, 105 have a band 1.1 rating, 25 have a band 1.2 rating, 6 have a band 1.3 rating and 37 have a band 1.4 rating. However, the Deputy should be aware that these numbers are subject to ongoing change as other projects come through the assessment process. This information also has to be taken in the context of the fact that the progression of large scale capital projects is just one element of the Department’s capital programme.
The Department’s capital programme in any given year comprises a number of component elements or sub-programmes. These include large-scale building projects — new school buildings and major extensions or refurbishments; emergency works; site acquisitions; remediation programmes — asbestos removal or radon mitigation; furniture and equipment; and the provision of temporary accommodation, etc. It is my intention to have a summer works scheme in 2009. A budget is not assigned to an individual project until a tender has been accepted and a project is allowed to proceed to construction. This happens during the advanced stages of architectural planning. Due to the overall extent of the demand on the Department’s capital budget, it is not possible to provide an indicative timeframe for the further progression of the project in question at this time.
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