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23rd February 2011
Work has Started!
Last Monday Midland Construction went on site and started preparatory work. The first stage will involve installing site offices, erecting fencing and carrying out site preparation work in part of the Senior yard. The prefab building containing Junior classrooms 11 and 12 will then move to the Senior yard.
Clerk of Works
The Department has agreed that our project merits a clerk of works. The Schools will be making an appointment shortly. If you know of anyone with relevant experience, please have the CV to either School by 5 p.m. on Friday March 4.
Entrance to the Senior Boys School
The site office location will mean that the usual entrance to the Senior School office will be closed for the duration of the building contract. Instead access to the Senior School for parents will be by the door at the far end of the Senior block. Students will continue as before to congregate in the Senior yard.
Entrance to the Junior boys School
John O’Sullivan will text parents in the Junior School once there is a specific date for closing the Junior yard. From then on, as explained at the Junior School parent briefing, boys for first and second class will assemble in and be dismissed from the Senior yard. Senior Infants and Junior infants will assemble in and be dismissed from the school hall.
Once Midland Construction has completed its preliminary works it will fence off most of the Junior yard. Dublin City Council has given permission for the yard area to be used for deliveries. This will reduce traffic disruption on Seafield Road and in particular will make the project a little bit less intrusive on our neighbours in Vernon Court. We would ask parents not to drive on Vernon Court. Midland Construction has prepared a detailed traffic management plan and is endeavouring to coordinate delivery times to cause the minimum disruption to the running of the schools. For example Midland has been consulting with us in relation to start times, dismissal times and special events (such as school tours).
The builders need facilities such as storage, toilets and meeting area. These will be on the Vernon Court side of the Senior School. Midland is erecting fencing to separate the site office area from the school. We hope that the combination of the fencing and the use of the Junior yard for vehicular access will reduce the distraction for the boys.
Rooms 11 and 12, Junior School
At the moment Midland Construction estimates that it will be relocating rooms 11 and 12 from their current position inside the main pedestrian entrance of the Junior School to the new position in the Senior yard starting on 14 March 2011. Midland estimates that it will take approximately 2 weeks to affect the transfer although it will do its best to make the classes operational as soon as possible.
In the meantime, when the transitioning is underway the boys will be taught in the school hall. John O’Sullivan will send a text to parents with confirmation of the dates closer to the time. We will need as many parents as possible to come forward for a meitheal on two occasions. The first will be to move the contents of rooms 11 and 12 into the school hall and the second will be to move those contents again into rooms 11 and 12 in the Senior yard.
Assembly and dismissal of senior infants and junior infants will be a particular challenge during the 2 week period when rooms 11 and 12 are in the school hall. John will be asking for extra volunteers during that period to ensure a prompt marshalling of children to and from the classrooms to reduce the disruption on rooms 11 and 12.
Your support for the teachers during this time will be particularly important. The teaching environment will not be ideal but our hope is that with good humour and recognition of the value of the prize to be achieved, this can be something of a positive experience for all.
Once rooms 11 and 12 have been relocated, Midland will then proceed to remove the older prefabs off-site and demolish the small permanent building contained the junior toilets near the Senior School secretary’s office. This will clear the way for Midland to start work on building the new 10 classroom 2 storey block at the corner of Vernon Court and Seafield Road.
One of Midland Construction’s safety officers will visit each classroom during the coming weeks. He will explain why the builders wear hard hats, high visibility vests and special boots. He will tell the boys about the dangers of a construction site and warn them to keep away from the building works. The schools will be running a number of competitions to get the boys thinking about the need for safety and also about the benefits which the new school buildings will bring. Details will be announced in each class later this month.
It is great to start the project. Using the mid term break for the initial works has been a bonus. There will be many challenges in the days and months ahead. However we continue to be encouraged by the positive engagement we are having with Midland in a series of meetings. When you see the Midland men about, do say hello and make them feel welcome to Belgrove. We want them to feel part of our community, thereby encouraging them to give us the best possible work product over the coming months.
Kevin Hoy Tim O’Mahony Frankie Byrne John O’Sullivan