Building contractors have been invited to enter the race to win the multi-million euro contract to refurbish and extend Portlaoise Garda Station so that it can be used as the policing HQ for Laois, Offaly and Kildare.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) has opened a prequalification tender process for the refurbishment, extension and alteration of the existing main Garda barracks’ site and adjacent site to the rear to existing Garda Station site.
Rolled into the contract will be the construction of a new Defence Forces facility on a separate site in the Portlaoise area.
The project, which is set to create hundreds of construction jobs, will involve the demolition, construction and refurbishment works to buildings within the existing Garda Station and site.
Both the Garda Station development and Defence Forces facility development will be progressed through a phased process.
The OPW has also told potential contract bidders The entire project will progress as two inter-related and dependent sub-projects. One project team will have responsibility for the entire project and will be involved throughout all project phases.
The development works will consist of the demolition to existing buildings to two storey office block, detention facilities, out-buildings and the building at the rear of the Garda Station.
The OPW says the contract will also involve the refurbishment of the existing two storey Garda Station building on the Garda barracks’ site in Portlaoise. The contract will also require the construction of a new three storey extension to the existing Garda Station building with a level link to the existing building, forming the new external courtyard, on main Garda barracks’ site.
Construction of a new proposed standalone building is also planned for the garda station site.
The new Defence Forces building will be used by soldiers in transit going on and coming off duty at Portlaoise Prison.
Builders have until April 18 to respond to the OPW offer.
The overhaul of the project has been in the pipeline for at least a decade. Plans have had to be revised a number of times during the past 10 years. The latest big change occurred when it was announced the the Laois Offaly Garda Division would be merged with the Kildare Division.
It has been included as a Government commitment in the past two development plans. When completed, the new building will act as the hub for policing in counties that have a combined population of 400,000.
Portlaoise was chosen because of its central location to the district.
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