26 million from the PRR finance works in schools Faro, Monchique, Ferreiras and VRSA

And there will even be a fifth funded school, also in Faro

Mayors with the minister – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

Four public schools of the 2nd and 3rd cycles of Basic Education in the municipalities of Monchique, Vila Real de Santo António, Albufeira and Faro will receive 26 million euros in funding from the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) for extensive renovation works.

The contracts were signed this Wednesday, May 29th, in Monchique, between the municipalities in question, responsible for candidacies for the PRR, and the Deputy Minister of Territorial Cohesion, Manuel Castro Almeida.

In the Algarve, these are the first four schools approved under the “School Recovery and Rehabilitation Program”, concluded between the Government and the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities, an eligible investment of 26 million euros in the four schools with approved funding.

Deep requalification will advance in schools EB2,3 Manuel do Nascimento (Monchique), where funding reaches 8,1 million euros, EB2,3 D. José I, from Vila Real Santo António (5,1 million euros), EB2,3 from Ferreiras, in Albufeira (5,2 million euros), and also EB2,3 Dr. Neves Júnior, from Faro (7,5 million euros).

 

Deputy Minister of Territorial Cohesion Manuel Castro Almeida – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

 

The Minister of Territorial Cohesion urged mayors to move forward with tenders for the works, taking into account the short deadlines for investments supported under the PRR, which must be ready by June 30, 2026. «Every week can be important , a day's delay can be important and that is why we are signing these contracts very quickly. This is what I ask of the presidents: launch the competition, tomorrow [today] is a holiday, but Friday is a good day to immediately launch the work for competition. Don’t waste time, please!”

Manuel Castro Almeida also provided good news: there will be a fifth Algarve school to be supported by these PRR funds.

Of the 450 million euros for schools across the country, the Algarve has a total share of 30 million euros, but yesterday only 26 million were committed, «because the fifth school exceeded the allocation» planned for the region.

However, added the government official, “a little while ago I spoke with the president of the CCDR and today the conditions were created so that we can also approve the fifth school, which is of Faro». This is the EB2,3 D. Afonso III, which will receive around 6 million euros from the PRR.

In fact, as the Farense municipality revealed, this municipality “submitted, also in this context, an application for financing the requalification of EB D. Afonso IIII, in the amount of 7.443.631,84 euros, which is currently being analyzed by the Commission of Regional Coordination and Development (CCDR) of the Algarve». To what the Sul Informação found, the amount to be financed under the PRR will not reach the total proposed by the Chamber, but it will not be far off.

In fact, turning to Paulo Santos, vice-president of the Chamber of Faro, who represented the Municipality at the signing of the contract, the Minister of Territorial Cohesion said: «you can guarantee the Mayor that the other school will be able to be signed immediately. We also have similar situations in other Coordination Committees, where there was a school exceeding its allocation, but we will guarantee this Overbooking, because then we will compensate you with loan money from the European Investment Bank».

 

Minister Castro Almeida and mayor Paulo Alves – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

 

As for the EB2,3 Manuel do Nascimento School, in Monchique, Mayor Paulo Alves highlighted that it is «the few that still have asbestos in the roof», since it was built in «the beginning of the 80s of the last century and since then there has been no major intervention».

«Over 40 years old and with immense pathologies and natural needs to adjust to current operations, the Manuel do Nascimento School was precisely included in the sectoral agreement established between the National Association of Municipalities and the Government», added the Monchiquense mayor.

This work had already been announced in 2015, to be completed in 2017, but the project did not progress.

«It was up to us, in this mandate, to move forward with such important work for this territory, adapting and reviewing projects», concluded Paulo Alves.

Em Faro, the financial support to be given to the requalification of the Dr. José de Jesus Neves Junior Elementary School, through a “non-refundable incentive”, will have an amount of 7.506.002,01 euros, which, as highlighted by the City Council, “corresponds to the application of a rate of 100 percent on the amount of eligible expenses”.

In total, «it is estimated that the Municipality's total expenditure on the requalification and equipping of the school establishment amounts to 8.127.359,06 euros, which implies that this financing corresponds to around 92,36 percent of the total estimated expenditure» . The rest is guaranteed by capital from the Chamber of Commerce itself. Faro.

Regarding EB2,3 D. José I, from Vila Real de Santo António, Álvaro Araújo, president of the Chamber of the city of Guadiana, told the Sul Informação that this educational establishment was opened in 1991 and also never received substantial works. It now needs a “total renovation”. While the works continue, both in this and other schools, the classrooms will be reinforced with the placement of containers.

In Ferreiras, the local EB2,3 School, which will receive 5,2 million euros from the PRR, was built «30 years ago», as José Carlos Rolo, mayor of Albufeira, told our newspaper. «It also needs to carry out a lot of work, even to adapt it to the current needs of schools and teaching», he added.

 

The remaining mayors and other entities – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

 

In addition to the millions from the PRR, the Minister of Territorial Cohesion announced that the Government will also use financing from the European Investment Bank, to be able to respond to the remaining applications made by Municipal Chambers across the country, which were left out of the PRR package. bazooka.

«The Chambers applied for a very large group of schools for funding. What we are signing here is just the component that is guaranteed by the PRR, the 450 million nationally, 30 million in the case of the Algarve. But we are negotiating a loan with the European Investment Bank, to be able to finance the remaining schools, which will be, unless I am mistaken, 451 schools». The governor's expectation is that these processes “can continue this year”.

In his intervention, before the signing of the contracts, in the main hall of the Chamber of Monchique, minister Manuel Castro Almeida had said that he had “a particular pleasure in being able to participate, in this place, in these contracts that are going to be signed, as they are at stake schools".

Because, he recalled, «many years ago, I was Secretary of State for Education, back in the last century». «As can be seen in the Government's program, a country is distinguished by education and education distinguishes a country», added the official.

«Therefore, anything that involves investing in the education of our children, our grandchildren, is an essential strategic priority. And, regarding this, I believe that there is great unanimity on the areas where investment is most needed. And here we talked about physical investment in works, in good facilities, that can provide good working conditions for professionals, teachers, all educational agents and that also motivate students to go to school and feel comfortable , feel good when they get up to go to school. This is halfway to being able to have a good learning experience», said the Minister of Territorial Cohesion.

 

President Paulo Alves serves an arbutus “mosquito” to the minister – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

 

As is customary in Monchique, the ceremony ended with a “medronho de honour”, accompanied by the also typical May cake. Despite the 33 degrees outside temperature, even minister Castro Almeida tried the Monchican medronho brandy. This was followed by a visit to the Manuel do Nascimento School.

 

Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

 

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