Con­trac­tor to be ap­pointed to school ‘in com­ing week’

Bray People - - NEWS - BY MARY FOG­A­RTY

A new con­trac­tor is ex­pected to be an­nounced for two va­cant schools in Bray in the com­ing week, ac­cord­ing to Min­is­ter Si­mon Har­ris.

Min­is­ter Har­ris said that he has re­ceived the as­sur­ance from Dutch In­fra­struc­ture Fund, the re­main­ing stake­holder in the con­struc­tion of Coláiste Ráithín and Ravenswell. The com­ments come as sub­con­trac­tor and ten­derer Sam­mon has gone into liq­ui­da­tion.

Both schools re­main closed de­spite be­ing all but com­plete. Cllr Joe Be­han in Bray said thaat the Gov­ern­ment has mis­man­aged ‘ the en­tire de­ba­cle’ sur­round­ing this is­sue. ‘It has al­lowed the Dutch In­fra­struc­ture Fund and Ja­panese bankers to take their time to or­gan­ise the com­ple­tion of the two north Wick­low schools in­stead of tak­ing con­trol from the start,’ he said.

Un­cer­tainty over whether Sam­mon would win a joint bid to com­plete six projects na­tion­ally forced Sam­mon’s ex­am­iner to seek liq­ui­da­tion.

Michael McA­teer of Grant Thorn­ton asked the High Court last week to wind up the com­pany. Work on the six schools ceased in Jan­uary, as UK part­ner Car­il­lion col­lapsed. Coláiste Ráithín in Bray was days away from open­ing, with a small amount of work re­main­ing on Ravenswell Na­tional School. Min­is­ter Har­ris said that he high­lighted the frus­tra­tions of the com­mu­nity to the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and the NDFA who are man­ag­ing the build­ing of both schools. ‘ This has been an ex­tremely frus­trat­ing few months for peo­ple in Bray who have al­ready waited an ex­traor­di­nar­ily long time for their much needed new schools,’ said the min­is­ter. ‘Fol­low­ing the col­lapse of Car­il­lon, it was hoped the build­ing works could con­tinue to com­ple­tion but un­for­tu­nately, rene­go­ti­a­tions with the sub­con­trac­tors brought the project to a stand­still.’ Fol­low­ing a new ten­der process, the com­ple­tion was fur­ther de­layed by the news of Sam­mons ex­am­in­er­ship and liq­ui­da­tion. They acted as chief con­trac­tor in the Bray schools prior to the Car­il­lion col­lapse.

‘Although the ex­am­in­er­ship of Sam­mon de­layed the process again, I am glad to re­ceive con­fir­ma­tion that DIF will an­nounce the new con­trac­tor in the next week,’ said Mr Har­ris. Deputy Stephen Donnelly has urged the Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Richard Bru­ton to lay out his plans to avoid fur­ther de­lays to the schools caught up in the liq­ui­da­tion of Sam­mon Group. ‘It is dis­grace­ful that two al­most com­plete schools will be left un­fin­ished and un­oc­cu­pied for fur­ther months as this mess is sorted out,’ said Deputy Donnelly. ‘ The time has come for the Min­is­ter Bru­ton to step in, pro­vide some lead­er­ship, and get th­ese schools open.’

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