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Dublin: 3°C Friday 4 December 2020
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Schools bid farewell to the prefab as Quinn announces €26.5m for classrooms

Ninety-one schools have been given the green light to start construction on permanent classrooms.

We gotta sort this out: Taoiseach Enda Kenny visits an over-crowded school back in 2009.
We gotta sort this out: Taoiseach Enda Kenny visits an over-crowded school back in 2009.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

PREFABS HAVE BEEN a common feature in schools up and down the country over the past twenty years but the Government is working on making them a thing of the past.

The second wave of its €40 million prefab-replacement scheme has been announced by Education Minister Ruairí Quinn this morning.

A round of funding worth €26.5 million will allow 91 schools to start replacing rented prefabs with high quality, permanent classrooms. Today’s announcement will result in a total of 194 mainstream classrooms and 105 resource teaching-learning support rooms being built. It will also see 6,000 pupils move from prefabs into permanent structures.

Some schools, including Scoil Eoin in Balloonagh, county Kerry and Fenor National School in Tramore, county Waterford, will benefit from the replacement of seven or more prefabs

In March, another 77 schools were granted money to build classrooms. Further to these 168 schools, 12 more are being considered to take part in the scheme. They are expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.

Quinn said the “great news” shows that the coalition is delivering a a “key commitment given in the Programme for Government”. It will also give a much-needed boost to the construction industry with an estimated 700 direct jobs, according to Quinn.

Savings of about €5 million per year are expected in the coming years as rental costs for prefabs cease. According to figures provided by the Department of Education, the cost of renting a standard 80 square-metre prefab is about €15,000. This year, €29.3m has been allocated for prefab rental, while €28.9m was spent on it last year, and €29.3m in 2010.

In March: €35m prefab replacement fund announced for schools>

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