Sunday, 19 May 2024

Two schools remain closed as works to fix buildings 'not good enough'

Students at two primary schools in west Dublin where structural defects have been found in their buildings will not be returning to class this morning as planned.

St Luke’s National School and Tyrrelstown Educate Together schools had planned to reopen the ground floors of their schools today.

However, last night officials from St Luke’s announced that remedial works to the school were not sufficient.

Principal Vivienne Bourke announced on the school’s website that “the building simply will not be ready by Tuesday”.

Following a meeting with the school’s board of management (BOM) and the engineering team at the school, they were given a tour of the new scaffolding and support structures yesterday evening.

“These support structures do not look good and the BOM and patron did not feel that the site was finished to a high enough standard to ensure the safety of everyone who would be using the building.

“There were still some sharp edges, unfinished woodwork and exposed surfaces which could potentially be a hazard,” she wrote.

School representatives will meet officials from the Department of Education today to ask “that the building should be finished to a more satisfactory standard and cleaned before it is returned to us”. “If we are happy with what we see then the BOM will hopefully open the school for everyone on Wednesday morning – not Tuesday as we had initially hoped,” she added.

Meanwhile, it’s understood that neighbouring school, Tyrrelstown Educate Together, will also not reopen today.

A source said the school’s principal, staff and BOM would meet at the school this morning to determine when the school could reopen.

Officials from the school could not be reached for comment last night.

However, in its most recent post on its website last Thursday, the school announced that its BOM “will assess the work undertaken in the coming days and seek assurances as to the health and safety of the building before committing to its use before the children are due to return to school”.

The Department of Education, meanwhile, said 22 schools undergoing what it called “precautionary measures” following structural defects found in schools built by Western Building Systems over the past decade were due to be handed back to school management last night.

However, it is ultimately up to the school’s management to give the green light for pupils to return to class.

In total, 42 schools across the country were examined for structural defects after issues were found at Ardgillan Community College in Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

The department said over 250 workers had been on site at the 22 schools over the weekend to facilitate the reopening of the schools today.

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