14 August, 2019 – Update on the Schools Remediation Programme for 40 Schools Constructed by Western Building Systems

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. has today (14 August) provided an update on the remediation programme for 40 schools constructed by Western Building Systems (WBS).

Some 22 schools were included in the first phase of the programme over the course of the school summer holidays, with permanent engineering solutions designed for each school.

This structural remediation work has been carried out in 14 of these 22 schools over the last six to seven weeks. This enables the precautionary measures in these schools to be removed as the work is completed.

Structural remediation work in the remaining 8 of these 22 schools is due to commence later this year.

Planned fire safety remediation works were carried out in these eight schools during the summer. This fire safety remediation programme will progress to the 14 schools which have undergone structural remediation.

Minister McHugh said: “Good progress is being made on the programme for remediation works in the schools.

“I want to thank the principals, patrons, boards of management, teachers, parents and pupils in these schools. It is with their support and cooperation while the work is carried out that we can restore their schools to normality.

“I am deeply conscious of the disruption and difficulties that this issue has caused since last autumn. It is a complex problem that has required intensive analysis and tailored solutions following detailed assessment by engineers.”

Seventeen schools are included in the second phase of the remediation programme. These have undergone detailed assessments over recent weeks.

Engineers have advised that some permanent remediation work is required in each of these schools. In the interim, some temporary engineering solutions and other precautionary measures are being put in place in some parts of some of these school buildings.

A decision on the design solution for Ardgillan Community College is due to be finalised in September.

School principals and patrons in all 40 schools are being briefed on progress of the remediation programme.

Minister McHugh added: “Safety has always been at the heart of our response to the structural deficiencies that were identified in these schools. It will continue to be.

“Any permanent or temporary engineering solutions or precautionary measures that are advised by engineers as a result of detailed assessment and analysis of these buildings are being undertaken.”

Ends

Notes for editors

1. Detailed listing of Schools

Some 40 schools are included in the remediation programme

These include –

22 schools that were included in the first phase of the summer 2019 remediation works programme. 14 of these have undergone permanent structural remediation. Work will commence on another 8 over the course of the next few months.

17 schools that underwent further detailed analysis and where temporary engineering solutions and other precautionary measures are planned.

And Ardgillan Community College, where a decision on the design solution is to be finalised in the coming weeks.

 

 

Permanently remediated – 14 schools*

 

Location

School

1

Dublin

Tyrrelstown Educate Together NS

2

Dublin

St Luke's NS

3

Dublin

GS Eiscir Riada, Lucan

4

Cork

Cara Special School, Banduff Road

5

Meath

De Lacy College, Ashbourne

6

Meath

Gaelscoil na Mí, Ashbourne

7

Meath

Ashbourne Educate Together NS

8

Kildare

Scoil Phadraig Naofa, Athy

9

Laois

GS Phortlaoise

10

Laois

Portlaoise Educate Together NS

11

Laois

Portarlington Convent NS

12

Cork

Macroom BNS

13

Meath

St Paul's NS, Ratoath

14

Cork

Carrigaline Educate Together NS

 

 

*Fire safety works will commence in these 14 schools in the coming months.

  

 

 

Fire safety works undertaken;

Structural works commencing in coming months – 8 schools.

 

Location

School

15

Kildare

Athy Model School

16

Kildare

Gaelscoil Átha Í

17

Cork

Scoil Phadraig Naofa, Rochestown

18

Dublin

Griffeen Valley Educate Together NS

19

Dublin

Lucan East Educate Together NS

20

Cork

*GS Mhicíl Uí Choileáin, Clonakilty

21

Dublin

Scoil Chaitlín Maude, Tallaght

22

Dublin

Castlemills Education Centre, Balbriggan

 

 

*some permanent structural remediation work has been completed, further work to be carried out summer 2020.

  

 

 

Detailed investigations completed, temporary remediation and precautionary measures being undertaken – 17 schools.

 

County

School Name

23

Dublin

Luttrellstown Community College

24

Dublin

Gaelscoil Shliabh Rua, Dublin 18

25

Dublin

Broombridge Educate Together NS, Cabra

26

Dublin

Scoil Choilm Community National School, Porterstown

27

Dublin

Gaelscoil na Giúise, Firhouse

28

Meath

Gaelscoil Thulach na nÓg, Dunboyne

29

Laois

Maryborough National School, Portlaoise

30

Dublin

Scoil Aoife Community National School, Citywest

31

Donegal

Letterkenny Educate Together NS

32

Dublin

Firhouse Educate Together NS

33

Wexford

St Joseph's Primary School, Gorey

34

Dublin

Lucan Community National School, Balgaddy Rd

35

Wicklow

Gaelscoil na gCloch Liath, Greystones

36

Dublin

Rush and Lusk Educate Together NS

37

Galway

Galway Educate Together NS, Newcastle

38

Kildare

Gaelscoil Mhic Aodha, Kildare Town

39

Westmeath

Mullingar Educate Together NS

  

 

 

Decision   on design solution to be finalised in September – 1 school

40

Dublin

Ardgillan Community College, Balbriggan

 2. Background

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 initially without any precautionary measures as an interim response.

Two schools investigated at that time, Belmayne Educate Together NS and St Francis of Assisi NS, Belmayne have since moved to purpose built accommodation and are, consequently, no longer the subject of the schools remediation programme. This reduces the number of schools involved in the schools remediation programme to 40.

 3. 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 to the schools. They were completed over the period from January to May, allowing the engineering experts to design permanent remediation works for affected schools.

4. Information Sessions (June 2019)

A series of individual information sessions was provided for school patrons and management in the Department of Education and Skills in the run up to the commencement of the works programme to permanently remediate the 22 schools at the start of the summer holidays. 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.

5. Commencement of Structral Remediation Work - 22 Schools

The structural remediation work programme for the 22 schools commenced at the start of the school holiday period.

Structural remediation work began in 14 of the schools at the start of their summer holiday period. For the remaining 8 schools, certain fire remediation works commenced at the start of their summer holiday period with structural remediation work in those schools planned to commence in quarter 4 2019.

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.

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. 

6. Ardgillan Community College

A specific plan for the remediation of the part of the school building in Ardgillan 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. The school management and Patron are being kept up to date on progress.

7. 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 the extent of the longer term remediation works required in those schools. These investigations will be completed this week.

The detailed investigations have identified the need for some permanent remediation work to be undertaken in each of the 17 schools. The aim is to undertake permanent remediation work in these schools primarily over the summer holiday periods in 2020 and 2021. Some precautionary actions are now being taken in these buildings as an interim measure pending these works being undertaken. Details will be explained to the schools individually.

8. 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.

9. 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 nearing completion. 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.