The Deputy will appreciate that all major school building projects under the Department’s Construction Programme are progressed through the various stages of architectural planning in accordance with the Department’s Design Team Procedures, Building Control Regulations and Public Works Contract requirements and that as the funding is exchequer funding the process and costs associated with any major project must be fully accounted for.
Design Teams must therefore be diligent in their preparation of the Stage 2(b) tender documentation in order to satisfy all regulatory bodies and my Department's Design Team Procedures. This results in minimising delays during further stages of the project.
The delays encountered by this project since it progressed to stage 2(b) can broadly be attributed to the following:
- Two Design Team Consultants (Civil & Structural Engineer and Mechanical & Electrical Engineer) have been replaced
- Changes in scope of works
- Site ownership issues
- Delays in securing statutory approvals
- Additional Design Team fee requests due to changes in scope of works
- Requirement to upgrade design details to ensure that new school building is a Near Zero Energy Building (NZEB)
- Upon review by my Department of the Stage 2(b) report, which was submitted in June 2018, it was necessary to return as documentation was found to be incomplete.
- Upon review of revised Stage 2(b) report, which was submitted to the Department in February 2019, a Brief Change Request report was deemed necessary.
It was in the context of reviewing the revised Stage 2(b) report submitted to my Department that it was noted that the estimated Stage 2(b) cost plan had increased substantially from the approved costs at Stage 2(a).
In accordance with Department Design Team Procedures, where the approved cost limits have been exceeded, a Brief Change Report is necessary.
The Design Team is currently working on the required Brief Change Report. Upon receipt, review and approval of the Brief Change Report the Design Team will commence work on necessary adjustments to the Stage 2(b) documentation and arrange for the submission of a revised report.
Upon receipt and review of the revised Stage 2(b) Report my Department will revert to the Board of Management of the school with regard to the further progression of the project at that time.