The Minister for Education & Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., today (10th June, 2013) announced a further initiative to replace prefab units in schools with permanent accommodation.
A total of €15 million has been allocated in 2013/14 to replace prefabs and provide permanent resource rooms and classrooms for some 2,650 students. Forty-six schools, with 115 prefab units, will be offered grants to provide the new facilities.
The Department’s School Building Unit will be writing to approximately 46 schools in the coming days offering grant aid for replacement of each of the rented prefabs on their sites, subject to certain criteria (see below).
Criteria for selection for inclusion in the 2013/14 initiative
- Prefabs must be rented for a minimum period and be required for the long term i.e. any major project for the school is unlikely to be completed in the short to medium term or, if it is, the construction of the new classrooms will not hinder the extension and will reduce the scope of works required.
- The school site must be sufficiently large to accommodate construction of permanent build while continuing to use rented prefabs.
- Permanent accommodation should be stand alone in the majority of cases, except where only one or two prefabs are being replaced. If schools choose to include a link corridor this and associated works to the existing buildings will be a matter for the school authority.
- Funding must be drawn down within 15 months.
- If the schools choose not to participate in this scheme the Department may move ahead with the purchase of the rented prefabs that are on the schools site.
- The provision of this funding will result in any previous application for an extension being deemed to have been addressed and will be removed from the Department’s list of outstanding projects.
Schools which do not qualify for this scheme
- Schools currently on the 5 year Capital Programme
- Schools currently in rented prefabs on rented sites which will not be eligible for this scheme.
- Schools where their site would not accommodate the construction of new build while the rented prefabs remain on the site.
- Schools who would wish to have work done to the existing building as part of any extension.