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"Tear them down, tear them all down". Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Government to spend €15m replacing school prefabs in 2014

The Department of Education said the cost renting school accommodation has dropped dramatically in the last four years.

THE GOVERNMENT PLANS to spend €15 million in 2014 replacing school prefabs with permanent school buildings, moving over 2,600 students in both primary and secondary schools into permanent accomodation.

In 2012, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn launched the Prefab Replacement Scheme with the second phase announced in June this year, which will allow for 46 schools to replace 119 mainstream classrooms and 37 resource rooms.

The cost is estimated at €15 million with the majority of the spend occurring in 2014.

“The prefab replacement initiative has been a great success, with over €37.2 million spent to date, 129 projects completed, and a further 29 projects on site,” Quinn said today. “While these are the figures, in reality it means that thousands of pupils and their teachers finally have a quality roof over their heads – often after many years of teaching and learning in prefab”.

It is a real scandal that during the building boom years of the so-called Celtic Tiger, so many of our children were educated in sub-standard prefabs. I am personally committed to eliminating prefabs which have become ‘permanent’ structures.

Replacing prefabs is part of the government’s €475 million education infrastructure plan for 2014.

The department said that over the last five years, the cost of renting school accommodation has “dropped dramatically”, from €39 million in 2009 to €25 million in 2013.

Read: €60.4 million spent on renting prefabs as classrooms over three years>

Read: Over 100 school prefabs to be replaced with permanent classrooms>

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