BAM PPP has signed a schools public private partnership (PPP) contract with the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA), acting as procuring agent for the Department of Education and Skills, for the design, build, finance and maintenance of eight schools. The capital value of the new schools is €100 million. The construction phase will be completed within 18 months and all eight schools will be available for occupancy in early 2014.
The schools, seven post-primary schools and one primary school, are located in Donegal (Letterkenny), Galway (Doughiska), Leitrim (Ballinamore), Limerick (Doon), Waterford (Tramore), Westmeath (Athlone) and Wexford (Gorey). The projects will employ up to 1,100 people, which in addition to all the site operatives will include architects, engineers, contracts managers and quantity surveyors. BAM will maintain the schools under a 25 year service contract.
Speaking at the signing of the contract, Theo Cullinane, BAM Chief Executive said: “We are pleased to be investing in the Irish market and to have been able to partner with the Department of Education and Skills, the NDFA and our senior lenders Bank of Ireland, the European Investment Bank and the National Pensions Reserve Fund to develop a financing solution for the project. This was an excellent demonstration of collaborative working and common determination, which has created a strong foundation for a successful long-term relationship between the public and private sectors. More importantly, the successful financing of the project augurs well for future PPP projects.
“The PPP model has a key role to play in strengthening Ireland’s infrastructure and can only succeed if there is equity available from the PPP company. Given the current fiscal constraints on Irish government finances, this PPP model is clearly the way forward for continuing investment in our infrastructure.
“We are pleased to be commencing work on eight schools around the country, adding considerably to Ireland’s educational infrastructure, which has been part of the fabric of the country’s success and growth to date. BAM will deliver schools of the highest quality – modern facilities which will facilitate the highest standards of learning. These projects will create employment across Ireland and retain the highly skilled design, construction and project management resources that were developed within this country in recent years.”
Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn T.D. said: “This is very good news for the communities in counties stretching from Donegal to Waterford who have been waiting for their school building projects to be given the green light. The creation of more than 1,000 jobs is also a welcome boost for the construction industry, but ultimately the main beneficiaries of this project will be the thousands of students who will have state of the art school facilities in which to further their education, creativity and potential for many years to come.”
BAM PPP has a long track record of working with public and private entities and is very active in the Irish market, having already successfully delivered the M1 Dundalk Western Bypass, the M7 / M8 Portlaoise Bypass and the M25 Waterford Bypass Motorway schemes. This success in Ireland is mirrored across Europe with over 30 operating concessions in sectors such as roads, schools, healthcare, prisons etc.