The Lagoa City Council will launch a procedure to review the existing project for the construction of the Mexilhoeira da Carregação School Center, in order to “optimize and update” the proposal.
The information was given to the Sul Informação by Ana Martins, councilor for Education in Lagoa, who added that, «with this shift four or five years since the initial project was presented, there are things that need to be reformulated».
The Mexilhoeira da Carregação School Center project was launched in 2017, with an estimated cost of 1 million euros, but never progressed. The councilor explained that, firstly, this was due to the fact that the Court of Auditors rejected the project, then because, when a new public tender was launched, it ended up being abandoned, due to a lack of interested construction companies.
«We launched this competition with a value for the work of 4 million and something, but there were no interested parties, as the value was considered insufficient. The proposals that came to us were worth around 7 million euros», added the mayor.
Thus, instead of simply launching a new competition with a more significant budget, the Lagoa Chamber, led by the socialist Luís Encarnação, chose to reformulate the project and update it, «in light of current needs».
Lagoa's PSD has already criticized this delay. In a statement, the social democrats from Lagos lamented that, «the school community of Centro Escolar da Mexilhoeira da Carregação begins another school year, without its facilities having received the deserved requalification works, identified 10 years ago, six years ago presented and two years ago they should have been completed».
«Unfortunately, nothing happened and now it suffers a new setback», since «the Chamber led in majority by the PS, the same one that prepared three projects for the same work, now finds in the project, which on several occasions submitted to public competition, anomalies that prevent its execution, that make it unfeasible and unenforceable».
In its statement, the Lagoa PSD also criticized that the executive “has deprived, in this particular, all the students who attended and still attend this school center in the last decade, period 2013/2023, coinciding with the socialist management in the Lagoa City Council, due to the fact that municipal managers were not able to carry out any intervention in that educational establishment».
Despite the controversy, future investments in schools will not stop there, guarantees socialist councilor Ana Martins. Within the scope of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), the Municipality of Lagoa will present an application «for the reformulation of the Jacinto Correia Basic School». The thing is, the Education councilor highlights, that this is a “priority intervention, because the school was built in a valley, on a water line”…
It is a potentially dangerous situation that the socialist executive received, since the decision to build the school in that location, its actual construction and inauguration took place before the PS returned to the Lagoa Chamber, when it was commanded by PSD executives. The school opened in 2003.
The case of this school has even been subjected to analysis by the National Civil Engineering Laboratory (LNEC), which alerted the Lagoa Chamber that, as there is no immediate danger, it is, however, necessary to “carry out structural work”. Now, if work is needed, the municipality will “take the opportunity to expand” this school.
Among the new features for the school year that begins this week, the councilor highlighted the fact that, during the summer, work was carried out to “renovate the cafeteria at ESPAMOL [Escola Secundária Padre António Martins de Oliveira], creating a specific room for professional courses linked to restoration, which are taught there». The Secondary School was also painted.
This year, school meals will be free for students in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes. The meals, added Ana Martins, are “prepared in the school canteens, based on a single menu for all, defined by the municipal nutritionist”, in conjunction with the management of each educational establishment.
Furthermore, «this year, for the first time, we offer three activity books for the 2nd cycle», in the subjects of Portuguese, Mathematics and English. Last school year, this had already happened for 2nd cycle notebooks. «This year, we expanded the offer».
An important news regarding Education in the municipality of Lagoa is the fact that the hours of the Family Support Component (CAF) have been extended. «In the morning, we start receiving children at 8 am, while, at the end of the day, after AEC, it continues until 18:30 pm».
«There are more and more parents in these areas of Lagoa, Porches and Carvoeiro who, first thing in the morning, have no one to leave their children with. They are, for example, nurses or even those who work in hotels and restaurants», explains the mayor.
The CAF will also be in operation during school breaks, especially because, for the first time, the two school groups in the municipality have a semester calendar, with the same breaks.
CAF is aimed at children in the 1st cycle, between 6 and 10 years old.
Lagoa City Council also ensures free transport for all students, in the municipality, and abroad when there is no educational offer in the Lagoa school network.
There are also more students in Lagoa
The Padre António Martins de Oliveira School Group, in Lagoa, will this year receive an additional 50 students, Portuguese and foreign, but this does not cause constraints at the start of the school year, nor does it require finding more spaces to open classrooms, as happened in other municipalities in the Algarve.
In the remaining School Groups in the municipality, the number remains similar.
Ana Martins, councilor for Education at Lagoa City Council, revealed, however, that it was necessary to do some exercise to welcome the new students, namely «changing two classes from the 1st cycle of EB1 from Parchal to EB Jacinto Correia, so that we can open more 1st cycle classes”.
On the other hand, «in view of the special needs of some students», it was necessary to increase a class in EB1 at Mexilhoeira da Carregação, placing a «monoblock» (container) there.