SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has called for answers over delays to new buildings for 28 schools across the North.
He was speaking after the Construction Professionals’ Council of Northern Ireland (CPCNI) called on Education Minister Michelle McIlveen to set a timetable for progress after numerous delays to the procurement process.
Mr McCrossan backed CPCNI’s call and said the Minister must clarify the situation for schools and construction bodies.
West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:
“Many of the new school builds involved in these plans have been in the works for many years and have been set by delay after delay much to the dismay of the schools themselves. When it looked like we were finally going to see some progress these projects were hit by the latest delays with it looking like it will be 2030 at the earliest before all these projects are completed.
“I understand there have been a number of factors responsible for the delays including the coronavirus pandemic and the increase in the cost of building materials, but the Minister’s response has been far from good enough. She has repeatedly failed to keep the schools and the construction industry updated on this work and now I join with CPCNI in asking her to outline a timetable of action. There has also been a lack of urgency from the Finance Minister to assist with the procurement process.
“These new buildings will be transformational for these schools and the pupils who use them in years to come. Many of these schools are currently housed in buildings with facilities that are not fit for purpose and because of these hold ups face many more years in this situation. Our pupils are being failed and if we want them to have the best school experience and reach their full potential then we need to see progress on these important projects as soon as possible.”