Future of schools hang in balance after building company collapses

The future of two schools in Bray is unclear after the company responsible for building their new infrastructure, Carillion, has gone into liquidation.

The concerns come on the back of £1.5billion in debt hanging over the company, which has caused it to collapse.

Carillion is responsible for the design, build, finance and maintenance of both Colaiste Ráithín and St Philomena’s National School.

Colaiste Ráithín is to be replaced with 450 pupil places, while St Philomena’s is due to have 24 classrooms replaced — both schools are being constructed on a single new site in Bray.

Carillion is also responsible for three other schools in counties Carlow, Meath, and Wexford.

Their involvement is part of a joint contract that is being managed by the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.

The Department of Education and Skills has announced it is aware of the compulsory liquidation of Carillion. They have said “The NDFA is currently assessing the implications of the Carillion liquidation for this contract.”

The Department has stated that it “remains committed to the full completion of these schools in as timely a manner as possible.”

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said “The liquidation of Carillion means uncertainty for the two schools in Bray as well as teachers, students, parents and the wider community.

Brady said the concern is “Carillion’s role in the development not only included the initial construction of the schools but to operate and maintain the buildings for 25 years. This is now in jeopardy.”

To date, the Department has paid €4.4 million for off-site works, however the Department will not make payments until the schools are fully completed.

At this time, the schools are estimated to be approximately 90% completed.

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