The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. has today (19 June) announced that a structural remediation programme for 22 schools constructed by WBS will commence on Thursday 20th June 2019.
Over the course of the last fortnight information sessions have been held for principals and management of the 22 schools and their patrons. Each school has been given a brief on the detail of the permanent remediation works to be carried out in their school.
Minister McHugh said: “The timetabling of works and arrangements for contractors to be on site have been designed to ensure all schools can re-open as normal at the end of the summer holidays.”
Structural remediation will commence in 14 schools initially, as and when they close for the summer holidays.
This work will roll over to the remaining eight schools. In the event that some works in some schools are not completed by the end of August, contractors will carry out the remaining work outside of school hours to prevent disruption.
The Department’s planned fire safety remediation work will continue in all 22 schools involved in alignment with the structural remediation programme.
Minister McHugh said: “Safety remains our number one priority. We targeted the summer holidays to get as much of the structural work done as we can, so that the precautionary measures can be removed from the schools as soon as the permanent works are completed.”
The Minister added: “I am fully aware of the difficulties that this issue has caused for principals, teachers, parents and pupils as they go about their day to day business.
“I am glad that we have now reached the stage where we can implement works that will enable the schools to return to a normal school environment as quickly as possible.
“I want to sincerely thank all the schools’ patrons, the boards of management, principals and entire school communities as we work our way through this complex issue.”
The structural remediation work will be carried out by John Sisk & Son and overseen by Arup Engineers. The delivery of the programme by the Department of Education and Skills is being supported by the National Development Finance Agency.
The schedule has been created with the aim of having as much of the works as possible completed in the 22 schools by the end of 2019.
Alongside the first tranche of remediation works, the Department is also carrying out detailed structural investigations of another 17 schools built by WBS but which did not require initial precautionary measures. These investigations will take place during the summer in parallel with the permanent remediation works at the other 22 schools. This is a follow-on from the initial assessments in those schools carried out in October/November 2018.
A separate approach has been taken to address the structural issues in Ardgillan Community College, Balbriggan, Dublin, part of which remains closed. The Department is continuing to work with the engineers to arrive at an appropriate solution and the school’s patron is being advised of progress. Any interim accommodation needs at the school will be met.
The Minister also said that he was commissioning an independent review of current practices in the Design and Build (D&B) model for the delivery of school buildings (or other similar public buildings) internationally and that he would be announcing the organisation to carry out this work shortly.
“This approach will be a precursor to a broader review of the Department’s D&B programme,” the Minister said.
“I have always made it clear that I am committed to a full review of the Department’s D&B programme. The broader review will take place when the legal process has been completed.”
Details of Schools Remediation Programme 2019
Structural works commencing summer holiday period
Fire safety works commencing quarter 4
Fire safety works commencing summer holiday period
Structural works commencing quarter 4
Athy Model School
St. Luke's NS
Gaelscoil Átha Í
GS Eiscir Riada
Scoil Phadraig Naofa
Cara Special School
Griffeen Valley ETNS
De Lacy College
Lucan East ETNS
Gaelscoil na Mí
GS Mhicíl Uí Choileáin
Scoil Chaitlín Maude
Scoil Phadraig Naofa
Castlemills Education Centre
Portarlington Convent NS
St. Paul's NS
Note to Editors:
A programme of initial structural assessments was carried out in October and November 2018 at 42 schools constructed by Western Building Systems.
The initial assessments resulted in precautionary measures being put in place at 22 schools, the partial closure of one school building with the remaining 19 schools cleared to open in full without any precautionary measures as an interim response.
2. Second Phase of Detailed Investigations (January to May 2019)
The structural investigations carried out in October/November 2018 were based on sample opening up works only. Detailed structural investigation were required to inform the full nature and extent of the issues with individual buildings and to design any permanent remediation works necessary from the information gathered. These detailed investigations were carried out on the 22 schools with precautionary measures in place and at Ardgillan Community College between January and May 2019.
John Sisk & Son was appointed as the contractor to conduct the opening-up and testing works to facilitate the investigations. Ove Arup and Partners Ireland Limited (t/a Arup) were appointed to carry out the investigations and to design the permanent engineering solutions as required for each individual school.
These detailed investigations (23 in total), took place outside of school opening times to minimise disruption. They were completed recently (over the period from January to May), allowing the engineering experts to design permanent remediation works for affected schools.
3.Information Sessions (June 2019)
A series of individual information sessions has been provided for school patrons and management in the Department of Education and Skills over the last two weeks. These briefings gave an outline of the schedule of works and the nature of the remediation at an individual school level and were part of the process of keeping schools up to date in response to concerns about structural issues and providing them with as much clear information from the outset.
4. Commencement of Structural Remediation Work – 22 Schools
The structural remediation work programme for the 22 schools will commence at the start of the school holiday period.
Structural remediation work will begin in 14 of the schools at the start of their summer holiday period. For the remaining 8 schools, certain fire remediation works will commence at the start of their summer holiday period with structural remediation work in those schools planned to commence as soon as possible thereafter but no later than the October mid-term break.
The work programme seeks to maximise the summer school holiday period such that the majority of the structural remediation work is completed during that time. The intention is to have as much of this work as possible completed in all 22 schools by the end of 2019. The Department’s planned Fire Safety Remediation programme will run in alignment with the structural remediation work.
All schools will re-open as normal at the end of the school holiday period. If the structural remediation work is completed by that time for any given school, the precautionary measures will be removed. If further works are required to complete the structural remediation for any given school, this will take place outside of school hours after the summer holidays to minimise the impact on schools.
John Sisk & Son and Ove Arup and Partners Ireland Limited (t/a Arup) were also appointed to carry out this permanent remediation work. The Department is being supported in the overall delivery of the structural remediation programme by the NDFA.
5. Ardgillian Community College
A specific plan for the remediation of the part of the school building in Ardgillian Community College that is closed is being developed. It is expected that work on determining the appropriate remediation approach will be completed by the end of September 2019. An update will be provided to the school management and patron on the expected timeline and next steps for the remediation of that school building at that time.
6. Detailed investigations for remaining schools
The third phase of the school remediation programme is detailed investigations in the 17 schools, also built by WBS, but which did not require initial precautionary measures.
These investigations are a follow up to the initial assessments (which were based on sample opening up works) carried out in October/November 2018, for the purpose of determining whether or not longer term remediation works are required in those schools. The investigations are scheduled to take place in the summer to minimise the impact on schools.
All 17 schools will re-open as normal at the end of the school holiday period. If any interim works are required to enable this, these will be carried out over the summer months.
7. Legal process
The Department continues to liaise with the Chief State Solicitor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office on the on-going legal process.
8. Independent Review of D&B Construction Model for School Buildings Internationally
The Minister has commissioned an independent review of current use and practices in the Design and Build Procurement/Construction Model for the delivery of school buildings (or other similar public buildings) internationally. The procurement process for the organisation to carry out this work is currently underway. The Minister will announce the outcome of that process when completed. The intention is that the organisation’s report will be published in Quarter 4 this year.
The nature of this element of the independent review is designed to ensure that it does not prejudice the on-going legal process. Following advice from the Attorney General Office, the planned independent review of the Department’s Design & Build Programme will not now commence until the legal process has concluded. That being said, the Independent Review of D&B Construction Model for School Buildings Internationally will be an important precursor for (and input into) the wider independent review once commenced.
9. Outcome of initial (sample opening up) investigations in carried out October/November 2018
Details of 19 schools cleared to open in full without any internal or external intervention
Luttrellstown Community College
Gaelscoil Shliabh Rua, Dublin 18
Broombridge Educate Together National School
Scoil Choilm Community National School, Porterstown
Gaelscoil na Giúise, Firhouse
Gaelscoil Thulach na nÓg, Dunboyne
Maryborough National School, Portlaoise
Scoil Aoife Community National School, Citywest
Letterkenny Educate Together National School
Firhouse Educate Together National School
St. Joseph's Primary School, Gorey
Lucan Community National School, Balgaddy Rd
Gaelscoil na gCloch Liath
Rush and Lusk Educate Together National School
St. Francis of Assisi Primary School, Belmayne
Belmayne Educate Together National School
Galway Educate Together National School
Gaelscoil Mhic Aodha
Mullingar Educate Together National School
*Completed move to new school buildings
19 schools enabled to open in full following external precautionary measures
Scoil Chaitlín Maude, Tallaght
Castlemills Education Centre, Balbriggan
St Paul's National School, Ratoath
Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Athy
Athy Model School (GP Hall Extension only)
Gaelscoil Átha Í (GP Hall Extension only)
Lucan East Educate Together National School
Convent National School, Portarlington
Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Rochestown
Portlaoise Educate Together National School
Coláiste De Lacy, Ashbourne
Gaelscoil na Mí, Ashbourne
Ashbourne Educate Together National School
Griffeen Valley Educate Together National school (2003 Phase only)
Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin, Clonakilty
Cara Junior (Special) School - required at one part of building only
Carrigaline Educate Together National School
St Colman's Boys National School, Macroom
3 schools which were enabled to open following the implementation of internal and external precautionary measures
Tyrrelstown Educate Together National School
St Luke’s National School, Tyrrelstown
Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada, Lucan
1 school building part closed
Ardgillan Community College (Phase 1 only)