In 2013-2014 the new Administration introduced two principles in education in Malta and Gozo, namely:
- Co-education in all secondary schools.
- The establishment of ‘Middle Schools’ within the secondary education level.
This policy direction in education required a number of changes within the existing educational buildings. Thus, the principle of co-education in Malta required alterations in all the existing schools to accommodate male and female students being educated together within the same premises.
The introduction of Middle Schools, (that is the first two years of secondary education) in order to have smaller educational buildings accommodating preferably not more than 550 students, gave rise to significant alterations, refurbishments and extensions and even the construction of additional blocks within school complexes to cater for these requirements. The direction to limit all primary and secondary schools to approximately 550 students also requires the construction of additional schools even within the primary and secondary sector. The preparation, design and construction of further additional primary/secondary schools are presently in preparation; some are under construction, whilst others are in course of completion.
As a consequence, the major projects delivered by FTS to the Ministry and Education Division during these last three years (2013-2016) included:
- MCAST Campus, Paola (2013)
Completion and finishing of works on various lecture blocks at the MCAST Campus and the construction of an underground car park. The cost of this project was €11 million.
- St. Margaret College Middle School, Bormla (2014)
Significant additions, alterations and construction a new building block to create a new Middle School for 500 students at St. Margaret College. The project also involved the creation of new sports facilities. The cost of this project was €1.7 million.
- St. Theresa College Middle School, Birkirkara (Ta’ Paris) (2014)
Significant extension and alterations to create a new Middle School for 550 students at St. Theresa College. The project also involved the creation of new sports facilities. The cost of this project was €1.4 million.
- Childcare Centre, Il-Gżira (2014)
Creation of a new childcare centre at Gżira with an investment of €35,000.
- MCAST Campus, Għajnsielem, Gozo (2014)
Construction of an extension block and extensive refurbishment of an existing school building to be used as a campus for MCAST with an investment of €600,000.
- National Sports School, Pembroke (2014–2015)
A completely new ‘bespoke’ school specialising in sports education with an interesting design layout with two very large multi-purpose halls, an indoor squash court, an a short-distance athletic track. The school also includes facilities for mainstream academic facilities, such as classrooms, computer labs, science labs and an assembly hall. So far more than €3 million were invested in this project. In the near future, the FTS will be constructing a new indoor pool and new tennis courts to form part of this school.
- St. Nicholas College Middle School, Ir-Rabat, Malta (2014-2015)
Major refurbishment and construction of a new building block to create a new Middle School for 500 students at St. Nicholas College. The project also involved the creation of new sports facilities. The cost of this project was €2.5 million.
- Maria Reġina College Middle School, In-Naxxar (2014-2015)
Construction of a new block with lecture rooms, computer labs and science labs at Maria Regina College to create a new Middle School. This project also included sports facilities. The cost of this project was €2 million.
- Gozo College Middle School, Victoria, Gozo (2014-2015)
Extensive refurbishment of an old school and its conversion to a Middle School with an investment of €1.2 million.
- St. Claire College Primary School, San Ġwann (2014-2015)
Construction of a new kindergarten block adjacent to the Primary School with an investment of €1.1 million.
- Gozo College Primary School, Ta’ Sannat, Gozo (2015)
Extensive refurbishment of the school with an investment of €300,000.
- Sir M. A. Refalo Sixth Form, Victoria, Gozo (2015-2016)
The project covered the construction of an entire lecture block, adjacent to the present school, consisting of 7 lecture rooms, 2 Biology labs, 2 Physics labs, 1 Chemistry lab, 4 ICT labs and a hall. The cost of this project was €1.6 million.
- Gozo College Primary School, Xagħra, Gozo (2015-2016)
Extensive refurbishment of the school and the creation of office space for the Education Division with an investment of €750,000.
- Benedict College Middle School, Ħal Kirkop (2015-2016)
The project included the construction of a new school on 3 floors for approx. 500 students. The total roofed area is 10,500m². The project includes classrooms, laboratories for various science subjects and ICT, a library, teachers’ facilities, a large hall, a museum overlooking archaeological finds and 2 outdoor sports grounds. We built a ring road around the school and an electricity sub-station, which has been handed over to Enemalta. The cost of this project was €8 million.
- Nicholas College Senior School, Ħad-Dingli (2015-2016)
Construction of a new school on 3 floors for approx. 500 students. The total roofed area is 10,900m². The project includes classrooms, laboratories for various science subjects and ICT, a library, teachers’ facilities, a large hall with panoramic views of Had-Dingli and a large multi-purpose sports ground and an underground car park for 80 cars. FTS was also responsible for the widening and re-construction of the surrounding external roads. The cost of this project was €8 million.
- Ignatius College Primary School, Ħaż-Żebbuġ (2016)
The former Boys’ Secondary School at Ħaż-Żebbuġ, which closed its doors a few years ago and remained unused, was extensively refurbished and converted into a modern state of the art Primary School with a cost of €800,000. The school has new classrooms, new specialised rooms, a clinic, a new hall, a new indoor gymnasium, new toilets, an upgraded playground with rubber flooring, new kindergarten classes, interactive white boards and new IT equipment. Even the old sewage system was replaced. The school was made fully accessible for persons with disabilities by the installation of lifts and ramps. This school was connected to the old primary school, which is now used as a childcare centre, by an underground tunnel.
- Dun Manwel Attard Young Adults Resource Centre, Il-Wardija (2016)
The project involved the construction of an additional floor on the existing one, as well as the construction of an entire new lecture block. The school which up to June 2016 catered for approximately 40 students, aged 16 to 22, with intellectual disabilities such as autism, is now catering for more than double the amount of students. The school has modern equipped classrooms, new computer labs, a Home Economics lab, a Science lab, a Design and Technology lab, a crafts workshop, a drama / dance studio, and a canteen. Since most students at this school are capable of doing office work in the future, we have created a learning space for office skills training. The school also has a small ‘flat’ to simulate a living environment. This will help teachers and coaches to teach the students about independent living. The school is spread on 3 floors, with an area of 2950m². Another important aspect of the project is that a section of the old part was completely refurbished (approximately 500m²). This included the replacement of weak concrete roofs and the introduction of new mechanical and electrical services. The cost of this project was €2.14 million.
- Gozo College Primary School, Ix-Xewkija (2016)
The project consisted of extensive refurbishment of classrooms, administration offices and the hall on ground floor level and the creation of extra-curricular and supporting classrooms on first floor level; the latter hasn’t been used in recent years. The project also included the construction of a new lift. The cost of this project was €520,000.
- Childcare Centre, Birkirkara (2016)
A new Childcare Centre has been created within the building of the Birkirkara Primary School. This project involved the relocation of the Childcare Centre which was situated at ‘Gnien l-Istazzjon’ to the school, which is more central and within a suitable educational environment. The new Centre has a dedicated outdoor play area and is fully accessible for persons with disability. The cost of this project was €150,000.
- Margaret College Learning Support Centre, Bormla (2016)
This project involved extensive restoration on parts of the St. Margaret Bastions in Bormla, and their adaptation into a proper learning environment. The Learning Support Centre will cater for approx. 10 girls, aged 11-16, with a difficult background and a history of social problems. The cost of this project was €65,000.
- Football Ground, Santa Venera (2016)
This long drawn out project involved the construction of a football pitch and a spectators’ stand on the grounds of the former Maria Assunta School. The football pitch was surfaced with synthetic turf certified for football by FIFA (FIFA 1 Star RECOMMENDED) and for rugby by the IRB (IRB Class 1). The pitch is enclosed by a wire fence. Floodlights have also been installed. Beneath the spectators’ stand a number of changing rooms and sanitary facilities have been created. The cost of this project was approx. €2 million.
- Maria Reġina College Primary School, Ħal Għargħur (2016-2017)
Construction of a new floor on the existing school. The project resulted in eight additional classrooms and toilet facilities. It included the construction of a new lift, rendering the school fully accessible to persons with disability. Since the building is scheduled by the Planning Authority and since it is in the village core, the same architectural features of the old school are being kept. This includes beautiful masonry craftsmanship on the facade. The cost of this project was €800,000.
- Childcare Centre, Ħaż-Żebbuġ (2016-2017)
The ground floor level of the former Primary School at Ħaż-Żebbuġ has been extensively refurbished and converted into a childcare centre. This project was made possible following the move of the Primary School to a new building adjacent to the old school. The childcare centre is connected internally to the Primary School via an underground tunnel. The new Centre has a dedicated outdoor play area and is fully accessible for persons with disability. The cost of this project was €140,000.
- Learning Support Centre, Ħaż-Żebbuġ (2016-2017)
The upper floor level of the former Primary School at Ħaż-Żebbuġ has been extensively refurbished and converted into a Learning Support Centre for students with emotional and social difficulties. This project was made possible following the move of the Primary School to a new building adjacent to the old school. The centre will cater for approx. 10 students. The cost of this project was €100,000.
- Claire College Primary School, Pembroke (2017-2018)
This school, which opened its doors in 2009, was already small for the growing population of Pembroke after a few years. This project involved the construction of a new block adjacent to the existing school. The new extension includes 10 classrooms and other facilities. The cost of this project was €500,000.
- Thomas More College Primary School (San Ġwakkin), Marsaskala (2017-2019)
The old primary school at Marsaskala had become too small for the growing population of this modern town, which once was a small seaside village. Government decided to build a new primary school on the other side of this town, to cater for the increase in population in that area. The project involved the building of a new school spread over 6,000m², with another 2,000m² underground car park. The school is equipped with modern educational and sports facilities. The cost of this project was €6,000,000.
- Childcare Centre, St. Julian’s (2017-2020)
Part of the ground floor level of St. Julian’s Primary School was totally refurbished and converted into a childcare centre. The new centre has a dedicated outdoor play area and is fully accessible for persons with disability. The cost of this project was €700,000.
- Footbridge and Footpath, St. George Preca College Senior School, Ħamrun (2019-2020)
The school, built in the middle of the 20th Century, is made of two large wings spread on three floors. Both wings were connected with each other through the ground floor. This meant that those on the first and second floors had to walk down to the ground floor to access the other side of the school. For years, different school administrations requested that a footpath and footbridge be constructed on the first and second floors respectively so as to make life easier for those using this school. This project made sense even from a health and safety aspect. Therefore, FTS designed and built a footpath on the first floor and a glass and metal footbridge on the second floor. This project which by FTS terms is considered a small scale project, made a considerable improvement in the quality of life of those who use the school. This project involved an investment of approximately €500,000.