Architects call on Government to use €331m remaining Budget for 2010

Architects call on Government to use €331m remaining Budget for 2010

Postby onq » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:19 pm

Odd enough for me to be boosting any RIAI utterance, but I've been complaining about the lack of spend by the geniuses running the government departments for a good while now - good to see John Graby is making this call.

ONQ.

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From:

http://www.riai.ie/news/article/architects_call_on_government_to_use_331m_remaining_budget_for_2010/

News
Architects call on Government to use €331m remaining Budget for 2010

Posted: Thursday, November 04, 2010


Architects call on Government to use €331m remaining Budget for 2010 to build schools & create employment

Architects have described the new figures that show the Department of Education has yet to spend almost half of its Budget for this year which was earmarked for capital projects as ‘shocking’ and have called on the Government to use the funds of €331m to build schools and create employment in the building sector.

Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland (RIAI), Director, John Graby stated, “The fact that the Department of Education has yet to spend almost half of the 2010 budget allocated to it to build new schools and classrooms is shocking. We have children attending school in prefabs and there is a high rate of unemployment in the building sector.”

“This is an opportunity for the Government to take advantage of cheaper labour and materials in the sector and finance projects that are not only good value for money but are an investment in children’s education which will greatly improve their learning environment.

Mr Graby continued “The Budget for 2010 maintained strong levels of capital funding for education because of the need for schools and classrooms. The current baby boom will only add further pressure to the system in the coming years.”

The Department has attributed the under-spend to the dramatically reduced building costs and we believe that this is an opportunity for the Department to target the elimination of prefabs in the school system. A recent ERSI Study commissioned by the Department of Education and Skills “Designing Primary Schools for the Future” found that the quality of the buildings had a significant impact on teaching and learning. It also found that brighter and more comfortable schools enhanced pupil engagement.”

Mr Graby claimed that the study found that classrooms in newer schools facilitated best practice in teaching by allowing teachers implement new methodologies in teaching IT and physical education stating “this cannot be facilitated by continuing to use prefabs.”
The RIAI would encourage the Government to take advantage of the economy where both labour and materials are competitively priced.

Mr Graby concluded “The investment of this money will have an immediate effect in terms of job creation and the long term benefits of appropriate schools and classrooms for children.”
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Re: Architects call on Government to use €331m remaining Budget for 2010

Postby PVC King » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:45 pm

Building schools and more pertinently third level teaching space makes a lot of sense; clearly if a rationale can be shown that energy savings etc will over 10-20 years recoup a lot of the cost and or reduce sick leave in teraching staff where dampness causes sickness and higher relief teaching costs then it makes a lot of sense. You got to love Government policy a Motorway to Tuam and the kids along it in prefabs you wouldn't stick a poodle in.
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Re: Architects call on Government to use €331m remaining Budget for 2010

Postby onq » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:56 am

Planning and regulation are something this Government sucks at.

The PD desire for lack of regulation cannot be blamed either.
If we'd let market forces deal with the Banks we wouldn't be so deep in debt.
If we'd privatised most of the health service [instead of sending in endless middle managers who also - apparently - suck at their jobs] utilities and civil service functions, we wouldn't have a 20Bn overspend to deal with annually.

And if we found a way to make people take a more responsible look a their smoking, drinking, drugging, drink and drug driving habits there would be far fewer deaths today and fewer health problems stored up for the state to deal with in ten or twenty years, far less absenteeism in work, probably fewer unplanned pregnancies as well.

But this is Ireland - heaven forbid we should ask people to act responsibly,!
And that starts at the top, where outrageous salaries are paid to civil servants and high ranking members of the cabinet.
Let's stop the cops and drivers and cars for ex-Taoisigh TODAY - what evidence do we have that any of these ex-liggers are under threat in any form?
I mean, imagine if Charlie Haughey was still alive - who, exactly would kidnap him for a ransom - and who would pay it even if such a thing might have occurred?
Let them buy their own Nissan Micras instead out of their huge pensions - or better still, their new all electric vehicle [no connection to Nissan, I was looking at one last month].

As for the topic, last evening's news showed kids in a hall [a BUILDING no less!] but in a room with NO windows and with part of the "school" in another building in the town.
I have a mind to audit every public school in South Dublin and issue a report to the papers on its condition.

Then perhaps they might sit up and take notice of the architectural profession.
An expert witness issuing a Report detailing and criticising the state of schools might interest a growing electorate.

ONQ.
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Re: Architects call on Government to use €331m remaining Budget for 2010

Postby StephenC » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:21 pm

The big problem here is the Department of Education and Skills. It is completely unfit for purpose. I would suggest that the whole capital investment and building management functions of the department be removed. Leave Ed & Skills to deal with education and training policy, curriculum mgt and exam mgt only. Create a new department of Planning and Infrastructure. Subsume agencies such as OPW and the National Building Agency into the Dept and let it develop the necessary infrastructure. The new department could develop new hospitals, schools, public buildings, transport infrastructure etc. It could centralise skills and know-how.

What we are completely ignoring is that despite the economic misery of the past two years this country has been undergoing a baby boom. And babies do not stay babies forever. We are going to require a whole swath of new infrastructure in a very short time.
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Re: Architects call on Government to use €331m remaining Budget for 2010

Postby tommyt » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:52 pm

StephenC wrote:The big problem here is the Department of Education and Skills. It is completely unfit for purpose. I would suggest that the whole capital investment and building management functions of the department be removed. Leave Ed & Skills to deal with education and training policy, curriculum mgt and exam mgt only. Create a new department of Planning and Infrastructure. Subsume agencies such as OPW and the National Building Agency into the Dept and let it develop the necessary infrastructure. The new department could develop new hospitals, schools, public buildings, transport infrastructure etc. It could centralise skills and know-how.

What we are completely ignoring is that despite the economic misery of the past two years this country has been undergoing a baby boom. And babies do not stay babies forever. We are going to require a whole swath of new infrastructure in a very short time.


The gist of that is all sound but to be fair , the Dept Education have put a half-decent, somewhat resourced,strategic team together in Tullamore who would appear to be well aware of demographic pressures, appropriate new build allocation etc in my limited dealings with them.- I would imagine their work is stymied at every turn by parish pump interference
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Re: Architects call on Government to use €331m remaining Budget for 2010

Postby StephenC » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:10 pm

Possibly, but its not what we are hearing on the ground. Most schools are complaining that the Dept is stymieing the rollout of new school buildings. Communities claim they have been lobbying for years for an extension or new school. And every year the news is the same. The Dept has underspent or deferred building. It couldnt all be down to parish pump interference.

The other aspect that has been quietly forgotten about is the extent of land which the State now owns via NAMA. At this stage the State could nearly cherry-pick sites for new schools and facilities. Wont happen though. I bet the D of ES havent even discussed the matter with NAMA.
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Re: Architects call on Government to use €331m remaining Budget for 2010

Postby PVC King » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:29 pm

What we are completely ignoring is that despite the economic misery of the past two years this country has been undergoing a baby boom. And babies do not stay babies forever. We are going to require a whole swath of new infrastructure in a very short time
. The early stages of depressions usually involve baby booms as women who were too busy in previous years with their careers decide to seize the opportunity; much of the favourable demographics of 1997-2005 co-incided with the graduates who were born towards the begining of the last severe downturn getting their primary or second degress.

The gist of that is all sound but to be fair , the Dept Education have put a half-decent, somewhat resourced,strategic team together in Tullamore who would appear to be well aware of demographic pressures, appropriate new build allocation etc in my limited dealings with them.- I would imagine their work is stymied at every turn by parish pump interference


The UK for many years a department headed by the First Secretary for State was responsible for all their built environment needs; after being ditched by New Labour it is being reformulated following a research paper done by Phillip Green the Topshop entrepreneur that a centralised property team could shave up to 40% off their overheads. Given the need for fiscal discipline a centralised function prevents the FF approach to the distribution of projects to ensure thqat objective criteria are not sabotaged for political expediency.

Clearly right across the public sector there will be a number of existing facilities where replacement will be cheaper over a 10 year period than dealing with disrepair and obselecence issues, Education is a very good place to start.
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Re: Architects call on Government to use €331m remaining Budget for 2010

Postby onq » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:15 pm

By the looks of the news this evening they may be investing in cheese making facilities instead.

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