Improvements at the Old Schoolhouse in Grange - Progress Report
Dear Fellow Grange Parishioners,
In November 2017, I posted details for your information on the Grange Parish Website (grangeparish.com) and on Facebook of improvements being carried out by Limerick City and County Council at the Old Schoolhouse in Grange. I made available, online, a copy of the Discussion Document prepared by Grange Cross Residents Association, which was submitted to the Council in November 2017, for further improvements/enhancements considered necessary over as short a timeframe as possible. I undertook to keep you informed regarding progress and further plans. Hence this progress report.
Firstly, I should remind you of the works that the Council had committed to already and the progress made on these up to early February, 2018.
The dividing wall between the two inner large rooms (former classrooms of the original school, built in 1867) have now been removed, leaving a single large hall with six windows. The outstanding elements of the plan involve the installation of a folding partition and the provision of a new floor and skirting boards.
A secure housing for a community defibrillator has been completed in the car park, paving the way for the early launch of our defibrillation service. I will write to you soon about the plans to initiate the service.
Secondly, I should remind you of the additional enhancements for consideration, as put forward in the Discussion Document provided to the Council. In summary, these are:
Seal the roof to eliminate water ingress, replace missing slates and secure all others. Consider attic insulation.
Cleaning the roof, gutters and downpipes, removing growing grass and weeds.
Removal of the stove in new enlarged hall and remedial works. (It was subsequently suggested that if the small walls around the stove were to remain, the opportunity exists to erect shelving – some open, some closed – between walls for storage of books, documents, electrical appliances, etc.).
Fitting of floor insulation prior to laying the new floor/skirting boards.
Provision of a suspended ceiling with insulation in the new hall.
Removing the dividing walls in the two front porches and the two smaller rooms to the rear of the enlarged hall - the new single room to the front to be used as a reception area, the new single room to the rear to become a small kitchen, in which kitchen furniture and appliances would be fitted.
Casing-in the steel supporting structures (shoes) that have already been introduced below the ceiling level in the two outer large rooms.
Replacing/restoring all windows in the building including window boards - include double-glazing or better.
Installing a suitable heating system, so that the building may be used in comfort throughout the year.
Replacing/restoring external doors, including draught exclusion and the fitting of commercial quality blinds.
Decorating all rooms following the introduction of dry lining, as found necessary, and the restoration of wall surfaces that are damaged, including repairs to old ventilation points on the outer walls.
Provision of Information and Communications Technology, initially in the new hall, together with notice/writing whiteboards.
Provision of appropriate tables and chairs, initially in the new hall.
Consider retention and restoration or removal of existing fireplaces.
Consider provision of shower facilities and installation of roof-mounted solar technology for heating water, or other alternatives for heating water.
Thirdly, Limerick City and County Council recently wrote to GCRA, making reference to works completed, works underway at present and further works planned for completion by the end of March, 2018. I have set out above the works that have already been completed: therefore, I will not list those again. The following are works underway and to be completed by end of March, as per the Council’s memorandum:
1. Repair works to the roof which is necessary to be carried out in order to prevent water ingress, these works are currently being undertaken as there were a number of slates in many locations loose and in some cases had already fallen off.
2. Cleaning out of the guttering and the downpipes.
3. Redecorating of the new hall
4. Repair crack on internal wall.
5. Box out and slab the two steel shoes to the valley rafters which are currently exposed.
6. Block up the existing vents in the front elevation.
7. Removal of solid fuel stove and make good area.
8. Re-render section of wall at the rear elevation to match existing.
9. Replace 2 no external front doors.
Limerick City and County Council is to be commended and thanked for the current investment in our community facility and, indeed, for previous significant investments, including re-wiring (electrical), new toilets and the installation of a modern sewage system at the rear of the building. Additionally, external lighting and building security has been installed.
All of this investment by the local authority coupled with considerable direct investment by our community (e.g. car-park and landscaping) adds up to significant expenditure to date.
GCRA will continue to liaise with the Council with the view to progressively having further necessary improvements, as set out above, actioned and completed.
I will provide you with a further progress update at the end of March.
Grange Cross Residents Association.
(on behalf of the Management Committee of GCRA)