26 Sept 2022

Builders being lined up to overhaul Laois school with litany of problems


The ceiling in one of the classrooms at Scoil Mhuire in Abbeyleix collapsed

Builders are being lined up to carry out a major overhaul an Abbeyleix school which as problems with leaks, sewerage and insulation.

Management at Scoil Mhuire NS has opened a prequalification tender process for builder interest in winning a contract which is funded by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

The school has told potential bidders that the works shall consist of the internal refurbishment of the 1980s block. This will include new floor and ceiling finishes, disposal of asbestos, new internal doors, new sanitary ware, alterations of classroom toilet layouts, new classroom fixtures and fittings, new accessible toilet.

The energy retrofit works to the school building will include and insulated external render system, pumped cavity wall insulation, partial internal drylining works, new insulated roof coverings, new external windows and doors and air tightness works to external wall openings.

An electrical upgrade will include new lighting installation, solar panels, emergency lighting, electric vehicle charging and electrical works to new heating installations.

The school is also in line to get a new back up gas boiler installation, new heating and distribution pipework and radiators, new renewable heating installation.

It is anticipated the Works Programme are to be completed during 2022. The project will also be completed in a phased manner to facilitate continual school operation.

The school has been seeking the work for a number of years but serious shortcomings were raised by parents in the run up to the 2020 General Election at a public meeting organised by teachers in Portlaoise.

At the time they outlined leaking roofs, blocked toilets and numerous other problems. Classrooms had to be vacated due to the extent of the issues.

A entirely new school was put forward as a solution but the deep retrofit proposed by Minister for Education Norma Foley was accepted by the school community in late 2021.

The refurbishment is being carried out under the School Energy Pathfinder Programme 2022.

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