€800 Million in Investment for School Building Projects Announced by Minister Foley

Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has today (Wednesday) announced plans for the rollout of the next phase of the department’s school building programme. It is planned that close to 90 school building projects currently at the tender stage will be authorised to proceed to construction over the course of 2024 and early 2025.

These projects will provide new and modernised facilities to help schools cater for growing populations in their areas and include 138 classrooms for children with special education needs, which is a key priority for the government.

In total, around €800 million will be invested in these projects under the department’s Large Scale Capital Programme and Additional Accommodation Scheme for essential classroom accommodation.

Minister Foley said “This is a record level of investment in school buildings. It will expand the number of school places, significantly increase provision for special education and upgrade and modernise our school infrastructure. The impact of this will be felt in communities right around the country.”

Since 2020, the Department of Education has invested around €4.5 billion in schools throughout the country. Around 800 school building projects have been completed and 300 other projects are under construction. This level of construction rollout recognises the priority that the government puts on investment in education. New medium-term capital allocations for the Department of Education were confirmed in the recent review of National Development Plan allocations.

The projects moving to construction in this next phase will add in the region of 200,000 m² of additional and modernised permanent capacity across the school estate and involve 28 new school buildings and 61 extensions at existing buildings.

Under the next phase of the school building programme, individual school building projects will be authorised to proceed to construction subject to an assessment of tender reports and relevant due diligence by the department’s Planning and Building Unit in line with the government’s Infrastructure Guidelines.

School building projects under construction involve an overall State investment of over €1.2 billion with most of these projects due for completion in 2024 and 2025. This is a record level of investment and highlights the department’s very strong track record in providing additional capacity and modern facilities for our school communities.

The department’s approach is to maximise the usage of existing capacity in the school estate and, in tandem with this, to manage the progression of the existing pipeline of projects within available budgets and in line with the government’s infrastructure guidelines. This allows the department to keep a strong focus on the provision of additional capacity to cater for demographics, new housing developments and the rollout of additional special classes for children with additional needs. The department’s Modular Accommodation Programme is also used to provide additional capacity in the school estate to meet urgent requirements.

The status of all projects in the pipeline, including those at the tender stage, is set out at www.gov.ie and is updated on a regular basis.

(Source: Department of Education)

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