226. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the timeframe from when a site is identified and purchased for a new school or an existing school to be transferred to a new site, built and opened; the main stages in the process after land acquisition to school opening; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17727/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018)
Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I am pleased to inform the Deputy that my Department has set out on its website, the stages in school building projects and also outlines the current status of existing major projects in the school building programme in a more user-friendly format. The status of projects is being regularly updated to reflect their progress as part of the €8.4 billion investment in school buildings under Project Ireland 2040. Please see here: www.education.ie - Building Works
In summary, the stages in the process are as follows:
- Site Acquisition (where required) - site may be acquired by my Department or by the school’s patron
- Project Brief stage - this includes determining the project brief and schedule of accommodation
- Stage 1 - Preliminary
- Stage 2 - Design (which is divided into Stage 2a - Developed Sketch Scheme and Stage 2b - Detailed Design)
- Stage 3 - Tender Action, Evaluation and Award
- Stage 4 - Construction
In terms of timeframe, this can vary depending on the site and project involved. Throughout all stages of the delivery process, there are a range of factors and external dependencies outside the Department’s control that can impact on delivery timelines on individual projects and the ability to achieve the Department’s published indicative timelines for same. Delays can occur in site acquisition, planning, design and construction. Therefore timeframes are project specific and school authorities are kept informed of the project status.
Various delivery mechanisms are used for delivering school building projects with a view to ensuring that timelines are met. These include my Department’s Design and Build Programme, ADAPT Building Programme, Public Private Partnerships and in addition there is a strong emphasis on delivery on a devolved basis to various agencies and school authorities.