St Augustine College extension

Government’s proposal (one of three proposals) to offer the former Medical School at St Luke’s Hospital in lieu of the proposal to extend St Augustine’s College at Pieta is a sensible proposal.

When MEPA refused an application to extend St Augustine’s College through the construction of a Primary School on its grounds, in an area previously forming part of gardens in an Urban Conservation Area I had written an article entitled  Enough space exists for schools. This was published in The Times on the 11 February 2012 and is also available on this blog.

In that article I had suggested that rather than developing virgin land Govenrment should enter into an agreement with Church Schools such that where possible use of existing school buildings currently under-utilised could be made. This is a win-win situation.

In fact I had then stated that : “ ………….. rather than developing extensions incompatible with existing residential areas or, worse, developing virgin land, a possible solution to the expansion requirements of schools such as St Augustine in Pietà would be to enter into an agreement with the state to ensure better utilisation of the buildings used as state primary/secondary schools where this is possible. If we agree that more than enough land has been developed in Malta, the redevelopment of some of these sites could be an option worth considering as an alternative to the development of virgin sites and/or the overdevelopment of other sites.”

The proposal made by Government for the possible utilisation of  the former Medical school is compatible with principles of good administration and is to be applauded.  Irrespective of whether an agreement is reached or not.

This is the way forward. We cannot build more land, if we can avoid it. Using already committed land is the best way forward. The proposal to use the former Medical school is clear proof that it is possible to find solutions which do not sacrifice more virgin land. In addition such a solution will not create more problems for residents.

3 comments on “St Augustine College extension

  1. The former Medical School in Pieta is a government (ie taxpayer) property. It should certainly not be handed over for free to the Augustinians. Neither should be handed over for peanuts. Hopefully the P.L. will insist on that, never mind the approaching election considerations.
    I agree with the ideas in the article ONLY IF if the conditions explained above are respected.
    This government and earlier P.N. administrations shamefully sold most of our national possessions – Sea Malta, the Banks, Maltapost, the Air Terminal, etc. and it is widely said that this was done to present more balanced Budgets.
    The P.N. and especially the Prime Minister think that they can do whatever they want with the taxpayers’ possessions so arrogant and insensitive are they.
    The Hon. Prime Minister has even used taxpayer money to shut up his ex-Ministers (by giving them each Lm20,000) and backbenchers (he gave them 10,000euros annually as part-time work remuneration? He gave himself and Cabinet members a hefty 500euro weekly raise! . The public is really angry at his doings, which included the unnecessary spending to build an unrequired parliament to house our excessively numerous M.P.s (unbelievably there are presently 67 of them when we can easily do with 45 or less). Dr. Gonzi has also spoiled the entrance to Valletta in the process. As for the roofless theatre that will go down in history as the joke of the century.

    • Conditions attached to offer are not yet known.

      There are only two ways in which government can transfer use or ownership of Medical School. These are established by law (Land Disposal Act of 1977).

      First method is by competitive tender.

      Second method is by resolution of the House of Representatives.

      I think that government will proceed with the second method after negotiations with the Church authorities/Augustinian order.

      Its best to wait and see to have an understanding of the conditions proposed. I believe that it will take some two to three months to arrive there.

      C. Cacopardo

  2. Tnejn hziena qatt ghamlu wahda tajba? Naqbel ma Joe Grech izda hbieb issa wasalna fit-tarf tal-irdum. Ma baqax ilfejn tmur.

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