Scoileanna tógtha ag Western Building Systems

Schools built by Western Building Systems
24-Deireadh Fómhair-18
Scoileanna tógtha ag Western Building Systems

Ceanglaím an t-eolas thíos a tháinig ón Roinn tráthnóna maidir leis an scoil mar gur thóg na tógálaithe Western Building Systems iad.

Below is the information provided by the Department of Education & Skills re buildings built by Western Building Systems, as was our school .


What is the background on structural issues found in schools?

Significant structural issues were identified at Ardgillan Community College in Balbriggan during an assessment undertaken by a structural engineer at the school on 19 October.

The issues relate to Phase 1 of the school building, which was built in 2009 by Western Building Systems under a Design and Build contract on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills. Phase 2, which was delivered in 2015, is unaffected.

Issues of a similar nature were identified in Tyrrelstown ETNS and the adjoining St Luke’s National School on 23 October, both built by the same contractor using the same construction method. While not identifying any imminent danger, it was decided that these schools should close as a precautionary measure to allow for further detailed investigations at both schools. The Department is working closely with these two schools in relation to interim accommodation solutions for the over 1,200 affected pupils. The target is to have interim accommodation solutions in place for when pupils return to school after the mid-term break next week.

School authorities will be kept fully informed of developments. At all times, the number one priority of the Department of Education and Skills is the safety of students and staff.

What actions is the Department taking?

As a result of the structural issues found in Ardgillan Community College, the Department is taking a proactive approach by arranging for structural assessments to be carried out on all school buildings constructed by the same contractor (Western Building Systems) using a particular construction method (steel frame, timber in-fill).

This involves over 40 schools in total.

The Department has contacted all relevant schools by phone. The timing of structural assessments are being finalised and will be confirmed to the schools as soon as possible. The mid-term break will be a key opportunity to get many of them completed.

The Department will continue to communicate with the Principals and Patrons of all schools to keep them updated.

Is my school safe?

The Department is taking a prudent and cautious approach to this issue and is arranging assessments of all schools built by Western Building Systems, using steel-frame timber in-fill construction.

The three schools that have been closed were all three-storey buildings.

Schools (or parts of schools) will be vacated only where it is considered necessary to do so. In the event that structural issues are identified in other schools, it may also be possible to manage those issues through engineering solutions, without the need to close the building.

The Department will work with the schools to put contingency accommodation arrangements in place where required.

Department of Education and Skills

24 October 2018

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