Exclusive: Kilkenny schools’ €700k bill for temporary accommodation since 2013

Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion said: “There are still too many of our students being taught in unsuitable prefab accommodation."

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

File photo

File photo

Almost €700,000 has been paid on rental costs for temporary accommodation – including prefabs - in some of Kilkenny’s primary and post-primary schools since 2013.

The details of the Department of Education’s expenditure was obtained in response to a Freedom of Information request which looked for the total amount spent on temporary accommodation at schools in the county over the last five years.

The total spend on rentals at seven Kilkenny primary and post-primary schools last year came to €153,000.

This year, six Kilkenny primary and secondary schools have a combined rentals bill of €86,198 with several of those schools in need of temporary accommodation of some sort since 2013.

Among these are St Canice’s Co Ed. National School and the Jonah Special School which are also using prefabs as part of their temporary accommodation.

A list of the type of accommodation schools were renting in August of 2017 was also provided.

According to details and school names provided in the document, the Department lists that the Kilkenny Model School is renting a prefab, as is St Canice’s Co-Ed National School.

The High Support Special School on the Callan Road is renting a “building(s) or rooms in buildings” while the same applies to Jonah Special School in Slieverue although this facility is also renting a prefab.

The Presentation Secondary School in Loughboy and Colaiste Mhuire in Johnstown were both renting “prefab or prefabs” as of August of this year.

Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion said: “There are still too many of our students being taught in unsuitable prefab accommodation. There are issues around damp and as any student who has sat in a prefab will know, they are extremely cold at this time of year.”

In a statement, the Department of Education said: “Interim accommodation was provided in the case of 6 schools listed where major projects have since been completed – therefore the interim accommodation is no longer required.

"Three further schools have major projects progressing through the Six Year Building Programme (2016-2021) and are renting interim accommodation to meet their current needs.

"With regard to the rental of prefabricated accommodation, it is a matter for the individual Boards of Management to satisfy themselves as to the suitability for school purposes of any accommodation it is proposing to rent and of its compliance with all regulatory requirements, including planning regulation, health and safety standards, etc.”

Table: 

Total spend on rentals at Kilkenny Primary and Post-Primary Schools

Kilkenny High Support

2013

€9,000

2014

€9,000

2015

€9,000

2016

€9,000

2017

€4,500

The Jonah Special School

2013

€31,456.80

2014

€20,971.20

2015

€21,998.40

2016

€36,321.60

2017

€14,323.20

Lisdowney NS

2013

€3,453.84

2014

€0.00

2015

€0.00

2016

€0.00

2017

€0.00

St John's Jnr School

2013

€21,927.40

2014

€9,066.14

2015

€0.00

2016

€0.00

2017

€0.00

Kilkenny Mixed NS

2013

€0.00

2014

€0.00

2015

€0.00

2016

€0.00

2017

€5,381.74

St Aidan's NS

2013

€6,331.96

2014

€12,663.92

2015

€12,663.92

2016

€18,995.96

2017

€0.00

St Canice's Co Ed.

2013

€21,586.50

2014

€21,586.50

2015

€29,847.97

2016

€42,293.49

2017

€27,967.29

Gaelscoil Osraí

2013

€85,310.67

2014

€28,436.89

2015

€9,478.96

2016

€0.00

2017

€0.00

Bunscoil Mcauley Rice NS

2013

€9,594.00

2014

€0.00

2015

€0.00

2016

€0.00

2017

€0.00

Presentation SS

2013

€0.00

2014

€0.00

2015

€0.00

2016

€18,806.50

2017

€17,780.88

Colaiste Mhuire Johnstown VS

2013

€0.00

2014

€0.00

2015

€18,745.20

2016

€16,245.84

2017

€16,245.84

Abbey Community College

2013

€0.00

2014

€21,549.60

2015

€30,700.80

2016

€11,512.80

2017

€0.00

Total

2013

€188,661.17

2014

€123,274.25

2015

€132,435.25

2016

€153,176.19

2017

€86,198.95