19/08/2011

€35m Education Campus Approved

The Irish Education Minister Ruairí Quinn has given the green light to Co. Monaghan Vocational Education Committee to proceed to the next stage in the construction of a €35 million education campus.

Following a tender process, the VEC will commence construction on the new campus.

This is one of the first Department of Education projects where responsibility has been devolved to a VEC. Co. Monaghan VEC will manage the provision of the new Education Campus. It is the largest building project to be funded by the Department this year.

The campus will include new accommodation for a 16 classroom primary school (Gaelscoil Ultain), a 400 pupil post primary school (Gaelcholáiste Oiriall) together with a 700 student Institute of Further Education (MIFET).

It will also include a state of the art theatre which will be the new home of The Garage Theatre. The MIFET will also use the theatre in its further education courses. This facility is being grant-aided by the Department of Education & Skills and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to the tune of €3.3 million.

Minister Quinn said: "I want to congratulate Co. Monaghan Vocational Education Committee on the tremendous work involved in bringing this project to construction.

"This is a shining example of where the local VEC has worked closely with my Department and the Gaelscoil to ensure delivery of a state of the art education campus for the benefit of all in the Monaghan area.

"The benefits of working with people on a local level are clear in relation to the timeframes achieved with this project."

This is a devolved pilot project and has the potential to offer the Department of Education and Skills another mechanism within which school buildings can be delivered in the future. A central tenet of the “devolved” arrangements is that the VEC, as the project manager and client, is required to manage the project within budget parameters assigned by the Department during the various stages of development and delivery.

The master plan for the site seeks to promote synergies between the various education facilities and will promote the sharing of these facilities, for example the Sports Hall, car parking and playing pitches.

(GK)

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