Written Answers. - Prison Officers' (Portlaoise) Housing Scheme.

428.

asked the Minister for Finance the original contract price of the new prison officers' housing scheme at Portlaoise, County Laois; the number of houses built; and the expected final cost.

The work consisted of:

1. The erection of: (a) 55 two storey houses; (b) five bungalows; (c) 60 external garden sheds; (d) a staff residential block to accommodate 60 single officers, which included a central recreation and amenities complex; (e) central boiler-house.

2. Demolition of eight cottages.

3. Site drainage, site ducting and site services, including roads, paths and boundary walls.

The original estimated cost, inclusive of VAT and professional fees, was slightly less than £4 million (it is not the practice to divulge the precise value of individual contracts entered into by the Commissioners of Public Works). The contract period was 39 months (including extensions of time authorised by the Commissioners).

While the final account has not yet been received it is expected that the total cost including extras and variations and also including a price and wage variation increase of over £1.1 million plus VAT and professional fees will be approximately £6.6 million.