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WHITECROSS SCHOOL; A brief summary of our school building issues

Year

Issue

Action

2003

Evident that school was growing quickly

Letter to DES official outlining need to address issue.

2003

Addressed issue with DES, no support
Not enough room for growing school.

Repainted 30 year old prefabs and put them into use
2003

2003

Growing school, unsuitable accommodation

Letter to DES, no reply

2003

Accommodation crisis in school

Letters to all constituency TDs; John Bruton, Johnny Brady, Mary Wallace, Noel Dempsey (Education minister)

2003

2 unsuitable permanent rooms/ 1 prefab

 

2004


School accommodation crisis in East Meath.Two DES officials visit this and other schools to get a picture of accommodation needs.

No action

2004

Another classroom required

Second room in ancient, unsuitable prefab refurbished

2004

2 unsuitable permanent rooms/2 prefab rooms

 

2005

Two further classes needed, extension sought. DES sent inspector to school; Sean O’Cearbhuill. Asked me to put up with unsuitable old prefabs if extension process put in place.

Two prefabs rented (Allspace) at cost of €26,000 pa.

2005

2 unsuitable permanent rooms/4 prefab rooms

 

2006

Building issues in local schools highlighted for Mary Hanafin, Minister.

No Response

2006

DES wrote to BoM outlining their approval of a 16 classroom extension

Ready to go!

2007

Submission to Commission on School Accommodation
Meetings and written submission to this commission.

Identified school as in urgent need of extension increasing the school to a 16 classroom mainstream school

2007

DES requested drawings of site and all school buildings at expense of Board; €3757

School Plan drawn at request of DES

2007

Easter holidays, Principal met with 4 DES officials

Examined design requirements of new extension

2007

Board meets

Building sub-committee formed

2007

School allowed to proceed to design stage for new build

Meeting in Tullamore outlining role of Board as client as this project was devolved to Board

2007

Issued with list of companies allowed to tender for school design
Board get drawings of school completed. Design teams chosen. Board design team sent to DES.

Communication then stopped from DES

2007

Board advertised for Design Team tenders

Advertised on etenders website

2007

The process in 2007 involved pretendering and tendering, it cost the Board quite an amount of money and also took up a lot of time.

With all the work involved by the Board, the building sub-committee, the chairperson and the principal as well as time considerable expense allocated from school funds, the complete lack of communication on behalf of DES officials was disrespectful and basically appalling!

2007

Pre-tenders assessed by sub-committee

Help required from consultant for this process; cost to school €1000

2007

PSDP appointed
To supervise Design Stage process

 

2007

4 companies chosen for school design

Consultancy fee €750

2007

Bureaucratic clarifications on design teams sought be DES

Clarifications supplied

2007

2 unsuitable permanent rooms/6 prefab rooms

 

2008

Several contact attempts made by Board regarding appointment of design team

No communication from DES.

2008

Several communications from chosen design teams to school

No word back from DES

2008

DES had promised at initial stage to have decision made within two days

No decision ever came

2008

Mary Hanafin, Minister visits school
Letter about delay on extension given to Ronnie Ryan her private secretary.

Diarmuid Everard promised a reply by the following Monday; no response

2008

Outcome
2 years work by Board, building committee,
Chairperson and Principal wasted, along with work of design tender companies

 

2008

2 unsuitable permanent rooms/7 prefab rooms. No staff room

 

2009

Met with Batt O’Keeffe in Leinster House

He promised he would follow up on issue, nothing done

2010

Organised lobby of TDs

Met with Thomas Byrne, Seamus Kirk, Brian Hayes, Shane McEntee (RIP), Arthur Morgan etc.

2010

Lobbying seemed to work and board was invited to meeting in Tullamore in April of 2010

Process in train again

2010

Design team tender

Tenders for Design Team advertised again

2010

Tenders received by Board

Design teams approved

2010

Design teams appointed

Work began on designing new school

2010

2 unsuitable permanent rooms/8 prefab rooms. No staff room

 

2011

April

Pre-stage 1 Meeting in Tullamore

2011

2 unsuitable permanent rooms/9 prefab rooms. No staff room

 

2012

Proposal by Board to address building of extension in 1 phase to save DES €500,000 & streamline process

Not approved by DES

2011

School opened in Drogheda after 3 years planning & construction

12 empty classrooms in this new school, will never be filled!

2012

Referendum of parents re one stage proposal & move to empty school in Drogheda

1 DES official encouraged referendum, more senior one saw no merit in proposal

2012


2 unsuitable permanent rooms/10 prefab rooms. No staff room

 

2013

Ongoing maintenance issues

Cannot address maintenance issues apart from emergency issues as it is a waste of funds given that new build is hopefully going to happen

2013

Extra expenses for this school

Energy bills higher, more emergency maintenance, more H&S issues. In the event of an emergency school cannot be locked down, access all over, or easily evacuated

2013

Cost of prefabs to date and still mounting
€750,000 plus and continuing to rise!!

 
 
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