Community is united in praise for former bank building transformed into modern financial centre for Portaferry Credit Union’s Kircubbin office…
Building work at Portaferry Credit Union’s sub-office in Kircubbin, has transformed what was once a simple white building, with little character, into a modern financial centre which has been much admired by the local community.
The property at 1 Main Street was formerly owned by Danske Bank, which closed the branch in December 2014. At the time, Portaferry Credit Union’s Board of Directors were looking for new offices for a sub-branch in the town to replace their old building (which was no longer suitable for their needs), and when the opportunity came along to buy the old bank building, it was too good to miss.
The Board decided to carry out extensive external and internal alterations and refurbishments to modernise the building and to also add a small extension to the front door area to help shelter the entrance from the sea breeze, appointing O’Prey Developments as the main contractor for the work. Alan Ross, of ATP Architects was engaged by the Credit Union to bring a creative element to the project, and all parties are delighted with the outcome.
Planning permission was obtained by ATP Architects and work commenced in early December 2015, with the deadline for completion set for the end of June 2016.
Underfloor heating and a complete new central heating system were installed and all insulation was brought up to modern requirements throughout the building. It was also decided to replace all the metal windows with double-glazed aluminium units, re-slate the roof and re-render the complete outside of the building, as well as replacing soffits and guttering/downpipes.
The car park, which was showing signs of disrepair, was resurfaced and additional car parking spaces were created. New steps and a disabled access ramp were created at the front entrance, and planting areas were introduced to soften the exterior and make it aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
The renovations have resulted in a more comfortable working environment for the staff than they had in the old building – and one with great views out to the north end of Strangford Lough and the countryside beyond.
From the outset, O’Prey Developments enjoyed a good working relationship with the client and the architect, Alan Ross. Under the supervision of site foreman, Stephen Johnson, the team was able to finish the project within the agreed time frame.
“Portaferry Credit Union Limited were the ideal clients, and working with their building committee was a pleasure, with any queries or issues being dealt with professionally through their architect,” said John Cunningham, Quantity Surveyor, O’Prey Developments.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
A striking feature of the refurbished building is the new stone-clad porch to the front of the building, with the roof detail constructed to create a nautical theme, as befitting the coastal location.
One of the more unusual challenges on this aspect of the build was that O’Prey Developments had to continue to provide unobstructed access for all the patients who visited the doctor’s surgery, as it shares the same entrance as the Credit Union.
The main aim throughout the project was to retain as much of the original structure as possible, while at the same time providing what is, in essence, a new building. The work has been done to high standards – for instance, the counter area has been finished in white polished granite with walnut veneered panels to the front. The insulation is of a high spec and the building has been brought up to full mobility standards.
O’Prey Developments Ltd is a family owned and run company, formerly known as Paul O’Prey Building Contractor. The business was formed over 30 years ago by Paul O’Prey, who has completed many projects over the years, building a strong reputation for top quality workmanship.
O’Prey Developments has earned the reputation of being one of the leading building companies in the area, with total commitment to its clients and a strong emphasis on attention to detail.