High praise for Killowen Contracts for new
Communication is key for experienced contractor as new Parish
Centre at the ‘Church on the Corner’ opens its doors…
Killowen Contracts Ltd has received high praise for the company’s work at the new Parish Centre at St Donard’s Parish Church in Belfast.
The company was appointed by the church’s Select Vestry to carry out the construction of a new 480m2 Parish Centre along with associated siteworks as well as alterations to the existing church – known locally as ‘The Church on the Corner’.
The company has extensive experience in the ecclesiastical sector and this was demonstrated from the very early stages of this project.
The new centre, located on the current St Donard’s site at Bloomfield Road, is single–storey, connected to the church by the former vestry which has become a multi–functional space with storage. The new welcome area provides a flexible foyer to the church, furnished with small tables and colourful seating and is glazed from floor to ceiling. As well as offering lots of natural light, passers–by will have a window into church life and, in warm weather, activities will be able to spill out onto the new patio.
Adjacent to the entrance porch, an office, second meeting room and kitchen sit to the left of the new, purpose-built coffee bar serving the welcome area. The welcome area also serves as a gateway route through to the new main hall, toilets and a small store. All of the areas are equipped with multimedia facilities.
The new parish hall and ‘link’ building were constructed as Phase 1 of the scheme. Once this work was finished the company turned its attention to Phase 2 which was the internal refurbishment work required to the existing church. This work involved the alteration of floor levels to provide level access and provision of new carpets to the altar area. To avoid a shutdown of the church, work was arranged when the premises were not being used, this necessitated full consultation with the client and work being completed outside of normal working hours.
In the end, all the work was completed on time and within budget.
Key to the success of this and every project that Killowen Contracts undertakes is the production of a detailed programme and methodology for the scheme, with the company’s Director Maurice McGivern holding regular site co-ordination meetings between respective sub-contractors and suppliers involved with the St Donard’s project.
Given the fact that the existing parish centre and church were to remain open for much of the contract, this communication process was vital to ensure that all health and safety, environmental and community issues were prioritised.
But, as Maurice explained, the superb relationships built up with the Select Vestry of St Donard’s Parish, Architects Knox and Markwell, Quantity Surveyor VB Evans and the various sub-contractors helped maintain the high level of professionalism Killowen Contracts is known for.
“We held an initial meeting with the design team, client and advisors to gain understanding of their perspective, intentions and aspirations for the scheme,” he said. “These meetings pooled experiences and best practices from all those involved, ensuring that the project would benefit from this universal experience. This enabled a fully developed concept to be clearly articulated and developed through the various stages of implementation.
“We believe the successful delivery of our projects is fundamentally linked to communication and the elimination of ambiguity. From experience, we endeavour to place major work packages with sub-contractors who have previously demonstrated, met and exceeded our quality criteria and project requirements. This is subject to continual assessment both during and post-construction.”