New school extension opening could be delayed over court dispute

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New Newbridge school extension opening could be delayed over court dispute

School opening could be delayed

A dispute between the main building contractor of an extension to a secondary school and a subcontractor may delay the opening of the new facility, the High Court has heard. 

K&J Townmore Construction Ltd is the main contractor hired to build the extension to St Conleth's College in Newbridge

The extension will provide modern facilities, a special needs unit,  and additional space for a school building that was originally designed to cater for 250 students, but currently has a student population of 477.   

The building works had been expected to be completed by the end of the year, and the new facilities available for students in January 2018.

However lawyers for K&J told the High Court on Wednesday that due to a dispute with a subcontractor Drumderry Aggregate Ltd, registered at Bunclody, Co Wexford, there is a doubt whether the building will be ready for use as of January 2018.

Represented by Louis McEntaggart SC and Hugh Byrne Bl, instructed by Tom Casey solicitors R&J says that issue in this case is an alleged failure by Drumderry to provide the relevant certification in relation to flooring produced supplied and fitted by the subcontractor at the projected.

R&J say that it is necessary to have certification for each and every stage and component of the school project to satisfy all the conditions of the building regulations.

R&J says there is no reason why Drumderry cannot provide the relevant certification in relation to the products it supplied. 

R&J say there are other unrelated legal proceedings involving the parties, but the issue over the certification has nothing to do with that action. 

If the certificates are not provided R&J fears it will suffer reputational damage and financial losses.

R&J says if it was forced to tear out the flooring put down by the subcontractor and remediate the work it would cost is more than €430,000.

As a result Tullamore Co Offaly based R&J has brought proceedings where it seeks an  order directing Drumderry to give the contractor the certificates in relation to the Hollowcore flooring at the extension. 

It also seeks an order prohibiting the withholding of the said certificates. 

Permission to serve short notice of the proceedings was granted, on an ex-parte basis, by Mr Justice Paul Gilligan. 

The Judge made the matter returnable to next week.