Athlone Community College (Second Level)

  • Client: National Development Finance Agency
  • Architect: McGarry NiEanaigh
  • Value(€ million): €12m
  • Completion date: 2014
  • PUNCH services: Civil, Structural

Athlone Community College forms one part of the NDFA Schools Bundle 3: PPP with BAM Construction (Design & Build).  PUNCH were the Civil & Structural Designers on this project which also included schools in Doughiska, Ballinamore and Letterkenny. Athlone was the only school that has been constructed on the site of an existing school which was kept live during the works.

This project was procured by the National Development Finance Agency and there were significant approval protocols associated with the design, releasing information for construction and site monitoring to be undertaken to meet the requirements of the D&B contract. The contract requires for the Contractor to maintain the schools for a 25 year concessionary period after completion of construction.

Our services included full Civil & Structural design from concept stage right through to the completion of the construction works on site.

The building is constructed on a partially sloping site. The lower ground floor is set into the bank at the southern side of the school with a large retaining wall constructed along the length of the front elevation.

Site investigation highlighted the presence of made ground on sand. Piled foundations and ground beams were used throughout the footprint of the building. An insitu concrete slab was installed throughout the ground floor.

The structural walls are constructed using precast concrete units, with the floors being precast hollow core slabs with structural screed.

The site posed numerous challenges. Firstly, the existing two storey building below was constructed in a confined courtyard between original hospital buildings. The building was constructed to within 4.5m of original buildings on three of the four sides. The fourth side was within 5m of the main live public carpark.

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