The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD, has welcomed the successful delivery of six brand new primary school buildings under the Department’s “Rapid Delivery” programme.
Developed in 2007, the Programme provides an innovative response to the need to deliver schools quickly in areas experiencing rapid population growth, where there is no existing school or the existing provision is unable to meet demand.
This year, the Programme involves four new Dublin schools in Mulhuddart, Balbriggan, Swords and Lucan, and two extensions for schools in Swords and Portarlington in Co. Laois.
The delivery of these projects provides over 1,700 additional school places, with pupils benefiting from modern energy efficient buildings and improved learning environments.
The building works were tendered in August 2011 and construction commenced last January.
Welcoming the new buildings, Minister Quinn said, “This year’s Rapid Delivery Programme will provide fantastic, modern school accommodation for some 3,300 pupils overall.
“Significant challenges lie ahead in terms of the need for additional accommodation to meet increased demographic demand for school places. “I am well aware of this need and last March, I announced a five year construction programme to address this, with €1.5 billion being spent on 275 major new projects.”
“As part of the delivery of this construction programme, the Department has engaged with the Office of Public Works and with the National Development Finance Agency to deliver school buildings using the Rapid Delivery model.
“This model is a good example of the public and private sectors embracing change and adapting their approaches in response to the current challenging financial environment,” said the Minister.
The Rapid Delivery Programme involves a fast track approach to the construction of high quality, cost effective school buildings, mainly on green-field sites, through the use of modern building technologies involving modular off site construction.
The Department uses a Geographical Information System (GIS) to conduct detailed analysis on the demographics of each part of the country and to assess the likely changes to the school going population in those areas.
This analysis informs the Department’s school building programme to ensure that there are sufficient school places available for the increasing number of pupils at both primary and post-primary levels. Please see below photos of two of the projects, Holywell Educate Together National School, Swords, Co. Dublin, and Presentation Primary School, Portarlington, Co. Laois: