Govt ponders options for Notre Dame as school term nears
The Ministry for Education is preparing contingency plans in case construction work on the new Notre Dame school is not completed by the start of the next school term, which starts on September 3.
With less than three weeks to go, the progress is being looked at on a “day-to-day basis” before a final decision is made.
Construction on the new buildings is well advanced but completion is still some way away.
The Minister for Education, Dr John Cortes, is expected to make an announcement next week as to whether the new buildings will be ready on time and, if not, what arrangements will be put in place to ensure first school pupils are not affected.
In his annual budget speech last month, Dr Cortes said that the school would be ready for students in September.
But yesterday Dr Cortes told the Chronicle: “We are looking at the school on a day-to-day basis as to how it’s going and when a realistic time for the handover is going to be.”
“We are expecting to have a very firm idea during the course of next week, and we will be making an announcement so that the parents, in particular, know what the plans are.”
“Work is going on fast, but not rushed. We are more interested in a good product than in a quick product.”
“We will be reviewing where we are next week, and take a decision of moving into the new schools then.”
If the school is not ready in time Dr Cortes said the Department of Education will ensure the existing Notre Dame First School is “absolutely safe” for the children, and it will be opened for the start of school, with children moving to the new building later in the term.
Dr Cortes added: “Any works remaining to be done by the time school starts are internal works.”
“It is very unlikely that there will be any noisy or disruptive works like in the major building works, but we will make sure that the lessons are not disrupted.”