St Conleth's Park, Newbridge
The latest update on St Conleth's Park, Newbridge, redevelopment, leaves more questions than answers.
At a zoom meeting of club chairpersons and delegates recently, Padraig McManus, Project Manager, and his assistant, Tony Jones, confirmed that, from a Kildare point of view, everything is practically in place. However there are concerns about the input of Croke Park funding while the government grant of €4.85 remains intact, there are a few items still to be finalised.
The earliest start-up date — that is actually going on site — is now the second quarter of 2022; while the original time frame was for the project to be completed was 12 months, that has now been pushed out to 18 months.
The cost of the project, originally €10.5 million, had moved to €11.2m but the final pre-tender estimate has now grown to €11.6m.
The cost of steel seems the main reason for the increase, along with the usual building inflation we are constantly reminded about.
However, it should be remembered, as Mr McManus informed delegates, that is simply an estimate and when the actual tenders come in there is no guarantee that it will be at that figure.
In fact, reading between the lines, one would have to be somewhat sceptical, especially as most of the major construction companies are presently heavily involved in work much bigger (and more profitable) than the reconstruction of St Conleth's.
The delivery time for the precast aspect of the job is now between 6 and 9 months and while Mr McManus said there will be approximately two months work on site before that arrives, he said it would not be prudent to get that started, then have to close down the site until the precast arrives.
Asked about the playing of games at St Conleth's Park in 2022, Chairman Mick Gorman said the entire 2022 Allianz Football and Hurling League games will be played there but that if the project gets going, as suggested in Quarter 2, then there will be no club championship games played there for '22 and '23.
One has to worry though if getting under way in Quarter 2 is achievable and while Padraig McManus, Tony Jones and the committee set up to oversee the project have done everything possible, one wonders if all the pieces will come together for the proposed new start-up time.
It is now five years since this project was first mooted, one can only speculate what year we will see the entire project finalised, a start-up date of the second quarter of 2022 looks a real long shot.
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