Belfast Telegraph

Doors to reopen at school after legal fight over structural defects

Ardgillan Community College in Co Dublin will take about two years to rebuild.

Ardgillan Community College, Balbriggan, Co Dublin (Liam McBurney/PA)
Ardgillan Community College, Balbriggan, Co Dublin (Liam McBurney/PA)

By Aoife Moore, PA

A school at the centre of Government legal fight after it was found to have significant structural defects is to be reopened.

Ardgillan Community College in Dublin is now subject of a remediation plan and will take about two years to rebuild.

Parents were informed of the plans on Tuesday night by the school principal.

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Ardgillan Community College will be restored and reopened (Liam McBurney/PA)

The building is to be restored and reopened, a senior source said, with the existing steel frame, floors, roof and internal walls to remain in place, with appropriate remediation where necessary, and external walls removed and replaced.

A programme is now being finalised to complete the design.

There will be some internal changes to the building, which the school has asked for.

It was forced to partially close last year after a number of structural defects were found throughout the school and has been using a shared community hall and some facilities at a nearby school ever since to accommodate pupils.

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Education Minister Joe McHugh (Niall Carson/PA)

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh said on Tuesday that significant improvement has been made on the remediation programme for 40 schools constructed by Western Building Systems (WBS).

Tyrone-based company WBS, which was contracted to build a number of schools across the state by the Government, is now subject to court proceedings after alleged defects were found in a number of institutions.

The building company, now facing legal action from the Department of Education, said it will vigorously contest any litigation.

The department said it continues to liaise with the Chief State Solicitor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office on the ongoing legal process.

“I’ve been consistent in saying where responsibility lies, it should be followed up,” Mr McHugh said about the case.

A programme of work took place during the summer 2019 in relation to the 40 schools in which structural and fire safety deficiencies were identified.

The department has confirmed about 40 million euro has been spent this year on the remediation programme, covering the cost of investigations, precautionary measures, fire safety upgrades and structural repairs.

PA

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