12/11/2012

New Schools Construction Begins

The Minister for Education and Skills has welcomed the start of construction today of eight schools which are being delivered under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. These are the first public sector projects to be funded under the PPP model since June 2010.

These schools in counties Westmeath, Leitrim, Limerick, Galway, Donegal, Wexford and Waterford are the third bundle of schools to be built under the Department of Education and Skills school PPP programme. They are part of the five year school building programme already announced by Minister Ruairí Quinn T.D. earlier this year.

A loan of €50 million has been secured through the European Investment Bank (EIB) which has meant these new schools can now proceed to construction. The total value of the construction costs is estimated to be approximately €100 million.

The eight schools will provide accommodation for approximately 5,700 students. Six of the eight schools are second level schools; while the two remaining schools to be built in Doughiska, Co. Galway, are a primary and a secondary school which will share a single campus.

Minister Quinn said: "This is very good news for the communities in counties stretching from Donegal to Waterford who have been waiting for their school building projects to be given the green light.

"I am particularly pleased that the EIB has again decided to support the Department’s schools capital investment programme with a loan of €50 million which will assist in funding this investment. It is a further signal of the bank’s renewed confidence in the Irish State and our recovery programme."

The National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) is responsible for advising State Authorities on the best financing of priority public investment projects. These eight schools in PPP Bundle 3 were referred to the NDFA in July 2010 to assist in securing funding.

BAM PPP was appointed preferred tenderer in September 2011 and all planning issues were granted by May of this year. Now that funding has been secured, construction is expected to begin immediately. The project financing includes EIB, Bank of Ireland and the National Pensions Reserve Fund.

(CD/GK)

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