SI.9 stops Summer Works for schools in 2015!
Summer Works projects for schools throughout the country in 2015 are now on hold as a result of the introduction of SI.9 earlier this year and its impact on the capital spending budget for the Department of Education. This type of work is the life blood of many small rural M+E engineers, structural engineers and architects as well as small to medium sized building contractors. This news come not come at a worse time for these regional SMEs. Funding of €70 m for 770 schools was available in summer 2014.
It appears that the unforeseen cost of having to pay additional Design and Assigned Certifier fees to the larger, mainly Dublin-based, design consultancies for large school projects has used up the funds available. In addition it is reported by Niall Murray in today’s Examiner that Education Minister, Jan O’Sullivan T.D., has confirmed that € 35.5m has not been spent during 2014 due to delays on projects caused by the new Building Control Regulations (Link:).
The building control regulations that came into force in March meant tender documents had to be significantly revised, adding at least two to three months to the time it takes projects to move to construction stage. The Minister advised this funding would be re-allocated instead to the new Grangegorman Campus for the Dublin Institute of Technology.
Fianna Fáil education spokesman, Charlie McConalogue T.D., said that this movement of funding would mean no summer works scheme allocation next year. The news will also be met with disappointment from pupils, teachers, parents, backbench T.D.s and the CIF.
In previous posts the BRegs Blog raised the issue of whether SI.9 was needed at all for school projects and pointed out the likely impacts with delays and cancelled projects.