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Funding sought for three capital projects 29 June 2007

THE Department of Education is seeking Tynwald’s approval in July for the first phase of a scheme to create covered outdoor play and teaching areas at primary schools.

The Department is seeking £142,600 for canopies for Jurby, Rushen and Marown primary schools and Scoill Phurt le Moirrey.

Estates Director Richard Collister explained the canopies would be in reception classes’ secure play areas and be used by reception and Key Stage 1 pupils. At Rushen a second canopy would be provided for Key Stage 2 children and would also act as a shelter for the ‘Walking Bus’ initiative set up under the Safer Routes to School scheme.

Mr Collister said:

‘The canopies will provide an excellent additional facility for each of the schools, enabling the promotion of external teaching and play, as recommended in the curriculum.’

He added:

‘With the need to ensure a greater understanding of our environment, the ability to teach these issues out of doors is key to this. Learning through play is a key element of child development and these schemes will enable outdoor play to occur during less clement weather conditions.’

The Department is also seeking funding for work at the International Business School in Douglas. Under the proposed project, the East driveway and the area in front of the Nunnery building will be resurfaced. The scheme also includes widening of the driveway to form a delineated pedestrian walkway.

Repair and maintenance work will also be undertaken to the main building, including replacing defective lead work on the main roof, repairing masonry and re-painting windows. The scheme includes the replacement of central heating boilers and other improvements to the heating system.

The Department is seeking £347,066 construction funding for the phase one scheme. Phase two, to include a new car park to ease congestion and resurfacing of the South driveway, is to be progressed next year.

Mr Collister explained:

‘The Department identified, on purchasing the estate, that while internal refurbishment of the main building had largely been completed or was in hand, there was an early need to address pre-existing maintenance issues regarding the structure and fabric of the building, mechanical and electrical services, the poor condition of the driveways and the inadequate car parking.

‘While the Department has been able to significantly enhance the condition of the grounds and address day-to-day maintenance issues from our existing revenue budgets, it is not able to fund these key works without seriously impacting on the works planned and prioritised elsewhere on the Island.’

The third scheme for approval at the July Tynwald is further drainage works at Castle Rushen High School. As a planned follow on to the completed phase one scheme, the proposed scheme will see the laying of a new surface water sewer around the rear of the school.

This will enable the separation of rainwater collection into the surface water sewer/attenuation completed under phase one.

The drainage works programme has been established to rectify flooding issues and to enable the Department to move forward with the planned extension projects. Funding of £84,536 is to be sought for the works, which are to be completed over the summer holiday period.

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