Good turnout at public meeting at St Paul's school for concerned parents

Status update given on the new school for Monasterevin

Paula Campbell

Reporter:

Paula Campbell

Email:

paula@leinsterleader.ie

Crisis meeting held at St Paul's Secondary School over estimated €500 traffic costing

St Paul's school in Monasterevin

A public meeting was held at St Paul’s Secondary School in Monastervin last night, Monday, September 7 for concerned parents over ongoing cramped conditions in the school and the status of the long awaited new build.

Deputy Martin Heydon TD South Kildare, and Cllr Kevin Duffy alongside Cllrs Mark Wall and Patricia Ryan all had the opportunity to discuss the St Paul’s Secondary School project Monasterevin, and it’s progress with the parents of the school, the St Paul’s Action Group, as well as Ceann Comhairle, Sean O'Fearghail.

Last week it was revealed that 106 first year pupils starting at St Paul’s Seconday school inMonasterevin are being forced to take classes in the nearby Scout Den for up to three weeks, due to limited space and cramped conditions at the school. Concerns ran high with parents after the news broke in the town of the school using the Scout Den, which is located beside St Paul’s. It was confirmed that the use of the Den is an interim measure until September 16, when new two storey pre-fab units on the St Paul’s grounds will be ready for use.
 
The school action group described it as an undesirable outcome but a necessary one, showing great community spirit .

These issues and the the new build were up for discussion at the meeting.

The meeting heard that following a legal challenge, authorisation to re-commence the pre-qualification process for the main contract for the new build has been issued to the Design Team and school.

The re-commenced process of compiling a shortlist of contractors for tender stage is currently nearing completion.  

The Department of Education understands from the Design Team Consultant Architect that de-briefing letters are to issue early this week. Thereafter a standstill period will start the day after the day on which the de-briefing letters issue.

The duration of the standstill period is 16 days if notification issues by post and 14 days if it issues electronically.
The purpose of a standstill period is to allow for effective pre-contract remedy to disappointed tenders.
The Department has recently been in contact with both the Design Team Consultant Architect and the school to confirm that, upon receipt of assurances that there are no appeals or challenges to the pre-qualification process within the standstill period and subject to no further issues arising, the Department will immediately confirm authorisation to progress to tender stage.
A tender stage normally takes between 7 and 8 months to complete.

The Department is committed to getting the project delivered as quickly as possible.

Site Acquisition

In regard to the site acquisition at Moore Abbey, the meeting heard that good progress is being made and it is anticipated that conveyancing will conclude in the near future. There is good ongoing engagement between both legal teams on finalising matters. It is not possible to elaborate on specific details due to commercial sensitivities. However, the Department will continue in its commitment to keep all parties generally appraised of progress in the transaction.

Temporary Accommodation

Pending the delivery of the major building project for this school the Department has sanctioned additional temporary accommodation for this year and next year which is to be delivered by the Design Team.   A total of 530 square metres of prefabs are being provided this year, in Phase 1, which comprises of 4 mainstream classrooms, a
construction studies room and a multimedia room.

The Department understands from the Design Team Leader that the timelines for the work involved did not allow for its completion prior to the start of the new academic year but both the Design Team and the temporary accommodation provider
anticipate that the works involved will be completed early in the academic year.

A recent update to the Department provided by the Design Team Leader confirmed that the prefabs arrived on site last week and work on them which is programmed to be completed end September is on target.
Additional car parking off site has also been approved.