Five Kilkenny schools receive funding to replace prefabs

Five schools in Kilkenny are set to replace their rented prefab classrooms with permanent buildings, following a funding boost announced today.

Five schools in Kilkenny are set to replace their rented prefab classrooms with permanent buildings, following a funding boost announced today.

St Nicholas NS in Windgap, St Brendan’s NS in Ballyfoyle, St Patrick’s NS in Kilmacow, St John’s Junior School and Gaelscoil Osrai in Kilkenny City will have the go-ahead to proceed with construction. The Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn announced funding of €26.5m for more than 90 schools to replace prefabs with quality classrooms.

This follows an announcement from the Minister in March that 77 schools would be building new classrooms to replace prefabs. Today’s announcement will result in a total of 194 mainstream classrooms and 105 resource teaching/learning support rooms being built.

Alongside the 91 schools approved, the Department of Education and Skills is considering a further 12 schools as part of this scheme. Those schools are expected to be finalised in coming weeks in the biggest ever initiative to replace rented prefabs, involving a total of 180 schools.

Minister Quinn said that a key commitment made in the Programme for Government was being delivered.

“This announcement shows the Government’s commitment to phasing out the inefficient renting of prefabs and is great news for thousands of children and their teachers,” he said.

“Despite the tough economic situation this country faces, we have secured €40.5 million for this important programme. It will see approximately 6,000 pupils move from prefabs into permanent classrooms and resource rooms.

“And as well as being a huge improvement for the schools involved, the construction industry will be boosted by the creation of an estimated 700 direct and 140 indirect jobs.”

The Government says that the scheme will result in savings of approximately €5 million per annum on the rental of prefabs in coming years.