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A number of primary schools in East Cork are to benefit from a new Government initiative to replace their prefab classrooms with permanent accommodation, said David Stanton, Fine Gael TD for Cork East. The schools receiving grant aid for permanent accommodation are Bishop Ahern NS in Leamlara, St Peter’s NS in Dungourney and St John the Baptist NS in Midleton advised Deputy Stanton

“I am pleased that these primary schools in East Cork will finally be able to build permanent modern classrooms having been dependent on temporary prefab classrooms for many years. These classrooms, while sometimes necessary as an interim measure, are not designed for long term use and should never have been relied on for this purpose by the previous Government.

“In addition to prefabs not being suitable for long term use, the rental costs associated with them are extremely high. In the last three years alone, the Government has paid out €97.2 million on the rental of temporary school accommodation with a further €29.3 million being allocated for school rental costs this year. This new initiative to replace prefabs with permanent structures should go a long way to reducing this rental bill.

“The replacement of prefab classrooms with permanent accommodation is a commitment in the Programme for Government. A total of €35 million has been allocated by the Minister for Education to build approximately 200 permanent structures this year. This accounts for one third of all the schools who have been reliant on prefab classrooms many years. It should result in savings of €5 million per annum in rental costs and benefit 6000 pupils and their teachers.

“The Government is committed to reforming our education system and cut down on the waste of state resources. This initiative forms part of a €430 million education infrastructure plan for 2012 and is in addition to the new five-year building programme which is due to be announced in the coming weeks. It is hoped that the total investment in school building should create almost 4000 direct and indirect jobs.