THE DRESS­ING ROOMS

James Hughes, owner, B&K Ser­vices Ltd, Blar­ney

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - PÁIRC UÍ CHAOIMH SPECIAL - In­ter­view: De­nis Hur­ley

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.

Pic­ture: Wild Acre Pro­duc­tions

Stephen For­rest is re­spon­si­ble for the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh sur­face. The seeds were set on the Fri­day of the October week­end.

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