CONTRUCTION WILL BEGIN today on eight new schools across the country which will accommodate around 5,700 students.
The schools which will be built in Westmeath, Leitrim, Limerick, Galway and Waterford are part of the five year programme announced Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn earlier this year.
They are the first public sector projects to be funded under the Public Partnership (PPP) model since June 2010.
Six of the eight schools are second level schools; while the two remaining schools to be built in Doughiska, Co Galway, are a primary and a secondary school which will share a single campus.
A loan of €50 million has been secured through the European Investment Bank (EIB) means the construction of the eight schools can now proceed. The total value of the construction costs is estimated to be approximately €100 million and all schools are expected to be completed by 2014.
Welcoming the start of construction today, Minister Quinn said it was good news for the communities who have been waiting for their school building project to be given the green light.
“I am particularly pleased that the EIB has again decided to support the Department’s schools capital investment programme with a loan of €50 million which will assist in funding this investment,” he said. “It is a further signal of the bank’s renewed confidence in the Irish State and our recovery programme.”
Earlier this year, Minister Quinn unveiled a five year Schools Capital Programme worth €1.5 billion. This will see a total of 275 major school buildings projects commenced between now and 2016.