Revised plans for the Louth and Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB) headquarters, which was originally to have been built on the St. Oliver’s Community School campus in Drogheda seven years ago, are expected to get the go-ahead shortly.
The project has been dogged by setbacks including the original contractor pulling out and, in the meantime, the number of staff to be accommodated has increased which means that design changes were needed including the addition of a second storey to the building.
However, the project is now back on track and The Minister for Education Norma Foley has told Deputy Fergus O’Dowd that she hopes to sign off on it at a meeting between her Department and LMETB which is to take place later this month.
“LMETB, supported by the Department, has been actively progressing a redesign to include an additional floor to the building. A design meeting to consider this proposal will be scheduled to take place next month in that respect” she said in a written response.
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“While my Department acknowledges that the delivery of this project has taken longer than originally envisaged, …. when the remaining issues are resolved my Department will be giving approval for the project to proceed to tender and construction.”
She said that that approximately €260,000 has been spent on costs related to the project including design fees, planning and statutory consent fees and surveys.
“This level of cost is consistent with what would be expected to be spent on a project of this scope and scale at this stage of its development” she said.
“However, it is of the utmost importance that the final outcome for this project will be the correct one for all relevant stakeholders and will meet the needs of LMETB into the future.”
LMETB Chief Executive Martin O’Brien explained in a letter to Deputy O’Dowd that the reason for the second storey for the new building was the increase in the number of people it needed to accommodate.
“I appreciate the fact that there were expectations that a build would occur sooner but in hindsight the fact that the nominated building contractor pulled out probably was a blessing in disguise as we are now going to get a much finer iconic building for Drogheda" he said.
“I believe the town, or soon to be city, deserves no less and we are committed to delivering same.”
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