THE DRESSING ROOMS
James Hughes, owner, B&K Services Ltd, Blarney
Iwas primarily involved in the bespoke design, supply and fit out of the dressing rooms as well as the fit out of all kitchen areas in the stadium.
B&K Services is a familyrun business on Station Road in Blarney. Generally speaking, our day-to-day business is the bespoke design, supply and fitting of kitchens, bedrooms, home furniture and office furniture, so this type of project was similar to our other commercial work but on a bigger scale.
Having the opportunity to be involved in such a prestigious project as the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh was fantastic for me on a personal level considering the amount of times that I have played in the old stadium with my club Blarney and Cork.
Actually fitting out a dressing room is new work to me, people were saying, ‘this is great, you’ll get more work like this now,’ but there aren’t too many big stadiums being built around the place!
My involvement in the project started when Michael Barrett of Michael Barrett Partnership, the quantity surveyor, contacted me to submit a design for the dressing rooms. Their benchmark was the quality and standard of dressing rooms fitted in stadiums like the Aviva Stadium and Thomond Park. Following some research, I came up with a few ideas and submitted them for review.
Once we agreed on a design I then created a fullsize model of three dressing room berths together, so that the county board could
physically visualize the dressing room set-up. I’m really happy with the final outcome of the work. Hopefully this project will be a springboard for other similar work in the future. The whole stadium is built to the highest modern standards. The dressing rooms in the old stadium were always fairly tight but in the initial design phase of the redevelopment, the space allocated for dressing rooms this time round was more than sufficient.
There are four dressing rooms, each with 35 spaces allowing them to cater for other sports. For example, if Ireland are lucky enough to secure the 2023 Rugby World Cup, I’ve no doubt that Páirc Uí Chaoimh can cater for such an event.
My element of the project took eight weeks from design to completion. We did have to wait for other trades to complete their work before we could start. We finished the installation four weeks ago. The county board were very happy with the quality of workmanship and the finish — it’s always great to get positive feedback on your work!
Due to the tight time constraints on the project and the number of contractors onsite at any one time, we were fortunate enough to be able to complete most of the assembly work off-site. Once assembled we would deliver to site and fit. This worked for everyone as it minimised the amount of time we needed to be on a site that was already quite busy.
As things happen, I was involved in the first game in the new stadium, the Premier Intermediate hurling championship against Valley Rovers on Wednesday evening.
I used to play with Blarney though I’m retired now and am involved in coaching the intermediates nowadays. My role as backs coach is very enjoyable and it was nice to be a part of it all.
People have said to me that I swung it so that our game would be the first one but maybe they thought if anything went wrong in the dressing room I’d be in a good position to fix it.
In all seriousness though, it was a real honour for both ourselves and Valley Rovers to be the first two teams to play in the new stadium. And it gave all my teammates a chance to cast a close critical eye over all of the work!
www.bandkservicesltd.com, and Facebook B&K Services Ltd.
Stephen Forrest is responsible for the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh surface. The seeds were set on the Friday of the October weekend.