Fine Gael TD for Cork North West, Michael Creed has today welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn, that two schools in Cork North West will receive grant aids to replace their existing prefab classrooms with permanent structures.
“I am delighted that Cuil Aodha & Kilmurray National Schools will finally be able to build permanent, state-of-the-art classrooms, after so many years of wasting a huge amount of money renting prefab classrooms, which could have been put towards other vital education services.
“For many years during the height of the boom, Fine Gael consistently called for this serious waste of money which was spent on renting prefabs to be addressed. Despite the massive amount of spending that went on during the boom, the previous Government did nothing to address this. Instead they continued renting prefabs; in 2007 alone, 715 new rental contracts were signed.
“I am delighted that this Government is now addressing this problem and 200 permanent structures across the country will be built this year, which covers over a third of all schools who currently rent prefabs. A total of €35 million has been allocated and it is estimated the 6,000 pupils will benefit.
“Since this Government was formed, the Minister for Education has been focused on reforming our education system, despite constrained resources. Today’s announcement is an example of identifying where money is being wasted. Building sustainable classrooms will save approximately €5 million per year and create an estimated 700 direct and 140 indirect jobs.
“This announcement is not part of the five-year building programme which will be announced in the coming weeks. Today’s initiative forms part of the Government’s €430 million education infrastructure plan for 2012. The investment in the School Building Programme this year, including the replacement of prefabs, will create an estimated 3,250 direct and 650 indirect jobs.”