See the press release below.  We are one of the 56 schools on the list for 2012!

19 December, 2011 – Minister Quinn announces 56 major school building projects as part of €430m education infrastructure plan for 2012

Minister Quinn announces 56 major school building projects as part of €430m education infrastructure plan for 2012

56 projects to provide over 15,500 primary and 7,700 second- level places

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn T.D., today announced details of the schools that are planned to advance to construction in 2012.

The major projects due to go to construction next year comprise:

Announcing the programme this morning, the Minister said: “We are prioritising investment in school buildings in line with the Government’s Capital Investment Programme.

“Total enrolment in both primary and post-primary schools is expected to grow by around 70,000 between now and 2018 – by over 45,000 at primary level and 25,000 at post primary. Enrolment will continue to rise at post-primary level to the year 2024 at least.

“We have to ensure that every child growing up in Ireland will have access to a physical school place.”

In all, €430m will be spent on educational infrastructure next year – representing the first phase of a €2 billion five-year plan for major school building projects.

Details of the five year plan will be published in the coming months. This will outline when the major projects needed to cater for demographic growth will be completed. Publication of the plan will also enhance the transparency and openness in the school building system.

This substantial investment will provide over 100,000 permanent school places of which over 80,000 will be additional school places – the remainder will be replacement of temporary or unsatisfactory accommodation.

The Minister indicated that there had been good progress in the school building programme in 2011.

“Major building projects for 55 schools, providing permanent places for over 18,500 pupils, have been completed so far this year,” said the Minister.

“There are a further 60 schools under construction at the moment, most of which will be completed during 2012.”

The Minister indicated that arrangements are now being put in place for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) to assist the Department by delivering some of the new schools and extensions required from 2013. This is in addition to the projects that are being managed by individual Vocational Education Committees around the country.

He said “I am committed to using alternative methods of delivering major school building projects in order to maximise the number of projects we deliver and to speed up delivery. I am pleased that the OPW and the NDFA have agreed to take on the role of manager for some of the urgent projects.”

The Minister also announced a Post Primary School Design Competition to be organised by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) on behalf of the Department. This will provide a real opportunity for innovative design in new second-level schools.

The Minister said that “I’m delighted to be announcing this competition. It is vital that we consider new approaches to the design of new second-level schools given the curricular developments that are underway and the number of new schools to be built over the next 15 years. The successful Design Team will design a new school in Kingswood, Tallaght, and manage its construction with a view to the school opening in late August 2017.”

He added that he was particularly thankful to the RIAI for organising the competition and to the chairperson of the assessors’ jury, Mr Eddie Conroy. The outcome of the competition will be announced in September 2012.

Minister of State for the OPW, Brian Hayes, TD, said “I’m delighted that the new second level school for Kingswood, Tallaght will be designed and built as part of the Design Competition announced today. This is a hugely important project and I look forward to seeing the innovative designs for the new school. I’m also delighted that the OPW is assisting in the management of the schools capital programme. It’s important that Government departments and agencies work together to ensure we maximise the number of school building projects we deliver in the coming years. ”