Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Ceisteanna (207)

Brendan Howlin


207. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding the school building project at a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49936/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The school referred to by the deputy is to be delivered as a joint project with another school, with both schools sharing the same site.

This major project is currently at an advanced stage of architectural planning, Stage 2(b) Detailed Design which includes the application for Planning Permission, Fire Cert and Disability Access Cert and the preparation of tender documents. All statutory approvals have been secured.

The Design Team for this joint project was appointed in 2012, and progressed through early architectural planning to Stage 2(b) in November 2014.

Stage 2(b) is one of the most complex and detailed stages in architectural planning. Following a detailed and long planning process, this project received Planning Permission in May 2017. An appeal was lodged with An Bord Pleanála and the decision to uphold was issued in October 2017. Disability Access Certification was secured for both schools in July 2018, and Fire Safety Certification was secured in August 2018.

The Boards of Management requested their Design Team to submit a Brief Change Request to my Department, to include for additional refurbishment items to those approved in the original brief for the project. It also includes proposals to make the school a Nero Zero Energy Building (NZEB), in order to comply with the 2017 amendment to Part L of Building Regulations.

In February 2019, my Department approved the Brief Change in principle, with detailed costings to be submitted prior to Stage 2(b) completion, for review and final approval by my Department.

In June 2019, at a meeting with the schools, their design team and officials from my Department, discussions took place regarding the current conditions at the schools. My Department advised the schools to submit an application for consideration, for replacement/additional temporary accommodation required to address their current accommodation needs pending the delivery of the major school building project.

At that meeting the consultant Design Team Quantity Surveyor advised that the company is withdrawing from the project.

In early October, the consultant Architect advised that it is also withdrawing from the project as the firm has gone into liquidation.

A tender process to replace both the design team Architect and Quantity Surveyor will commence shortly.

Upon appointment of the replacement consultants the design team will work on the completion of the Stage 2(b) report and arrange for it to be submitted to my Department for review. Upon review my Department will be in contact with the school regarding the further progression of this project.