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Government initiative to replace rented prefabs with permanent accommodation warmly welcomed

Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Anthony Lawlor, was delighted to learn from Education Minister Ruairí Quinn that six schools throughout the constituency have been included in a new €35 million initiative to replace rented prefabs with permanent accommodation. The schools included are Scoil an Linbh Íosa in Prosperous, St Corbans in Naas, St. Mochuo’s NS in Rathcoffey, St. Laurence NS in Sallins, Straffan NS and Two Mile House NS in Naas.

“During the height of the economic boom, standard practice had been for the Department to allow schools suffering from overcrowding to rent prefabs. This practice has not only resulted in 6,000 pupils using prefabricated buildings for classroom accommodation and resource rooms, but the rental cost for each prefab has been in the region of €15k per annum. In 2011 €28.9m alone was spent by the Department on rental temporary accommodation in schools. This was down from €39m incurred in 2009.

“The initiative announced today by the Minister is the biggest ever undertaken to replace rented prefabs in 200 schools nationwide and fulfils another commitment from the Programme for Government. This initiative is not part of the Department’s five-year building plan which will be announced in the coming weeks. It has been estimated that this initiative will result in savings of approximately €5 million per annum on the rental of prefabs and the creation of 700 direct and 140 indirect jobs.

“In the 21st century it is unbelievable to think that pupils were continuing to be subjected to prefabricated classrooms in schools. I am delighted that despite the current economic constraints on the Department of Education that this initiative has been announced which will finally end the legacy of unsuitable rented prefab accommodation” concluded Anthony Lawlor TD.