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After the delays... work starts on new Marsascala school

FTS received planning permission to build the school in September 2015

Workers started clearing the topsoil in a field where a new primary school will be built in Marsascala. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Workers started clearing the topsoil in a field where a new primary school will be built in Marsascala. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Work on a new public school in Marsascala got under way this week after the project, which was supposed to be ready this year, was hit by delays.

A spokeswoman for the Education Ministry yesterday said the “only reason” work had not started earlier was because there was a process that had to be followed and “additional improvements” were made to the facilities planned for the Marsascala and Qawra schools.

Earlier this year, the Times of Malta reported sources saying that the projects in Marsascala and St Paul’s Bay, where excavation works for a primary school had been completed, were delayed because of paralysis at the government agency that builds schools.

Corruption allegations at the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools last year and the sudden departure of its CEO Philip Rizzo were believed to have stalled progress on planned construction works.

But on Wednesday, a mechanical shovel and trucks started clearing the topsoil on part of a field where the new Marsascala primary school will be built in the area known as Tas-Siberja. The FTS received planning permission to build the school in September 2015.

The ministry spokeswoman said the new school would complement the existing primary school, situated near the parish church, which will continue to function.

The seaside locality has experienced phenomenal population growth over the past years with the existing primary school housing almost 700 students.

Over the past two years part of the school hall had to be taken up to create two additional kindergarten classrooms.

The spokeswoman said the new primary school will cater for 400 students and will also house a kindergarten and childcare centre.

“Commencement of excavation and construction works are set for this month and the expected delivery date is the 2018/19 scholastic year,” she said.

Asked about the St Paul’s Bay primary school in Qawra, where excavation works were completed in 2016, the spokeswoman said construction work would start next year.

The new school, intended to house 500 students, will complement the existing primary school, which will be kept in operation as demand in the locality has continued to grow.

“The new school in Qawra will house a kindergarten, a childcare centre and also have an underground car park,” the spokeswoman said, adding it was expected to be ready by 2019.

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