7 November, 2011 Minister Quinn welcomes the successful completion of 14 new schools

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., today welcomed the successful delivery of 14 new schools under the 2011 Rapid Delivery Programme. The 2011 Rapid Programme included projects for 13 primary schools and one post-primary school where accommodation could be delivered using off-site construction methods. These schools serve rapidly developing areas, where either there was no existing school or where existing provision was unable to meet the demand. This year's Rapid Delivery programme will see 3,500 current pupils benefit from modern energy efficient buildings and improved learning environments and will provide over 1,000 additional places.The projects were tendered in late 2010 and construction commenced on the various projects between February and April this year. By mid-November 2011 all 14 schools will be completed. Welcoming the new schools, the Minister said: "This year's Rapid Delivery Programme will provide accommodation for over 4,500 pupils. These students will benefit from modern energy efficient buildings and improved learning environments. Significant challenges lie ahead in terms of the need to provide facilities to meet the increased demographic demand for school places. The Rapid Delivery Programme is an example of how the public and private sectors have embraced change and adapted their approaches in response to the challenging environment in which we now operate."The Rapid Programme was developed in 2007 to diversify delivery methods and thereby provide an innovative response to the need to deliver schools quickly in areas experiencing rapid population growth. The programme involves a fast track approach to the construction of high quality, cost effective school buildings on suitable green-field sites, through the use of modern building technologies involving modular off site construction. The Department uses a Geographical Information System (GIS) to assist in determining the level of additional school accommodation required for each area of the country. GIS allows the Department to conduct detailed analysis on the demographics of each part of the country and to assess the likely changes to the school going population in those areas. The GIS analysis informs the Department's school building programme to ensure that there are sufficient school places available for the increasing number of pupils at both primary and post-primary levels. Click here to see the list of schools completed under the 2011 Rapid Delivery Programme.