When the team at Glasgiven Contracts saw for themselves the less than perfect learning environment at Rossmar Special School, they were spurred on to deliver an extra special new building for the student and teaching body.
The two-phase project involved the provision of a new build 5,500 sqm replacement school for disabled children and children with special educational needs on the existing live and operational site, followed by demolition of the legacy building and site works such as pitches and a new car park.
The new building incorporates three wings: Wing A – nursery and primary; Wing B – multi-purpose hall, school meals accommodation and classrooms for home economics, art, science and music; Wing C- secondary level to age 19.
“In addition to these standard items, there are quite a few specialisms,” explained Padhraic Murphy, Project Manager for Glasgiven Contracts. “The two sensory rooms contain all sorts of kit to give the kids sensory experiences. The total immersion room has a ceiling projector, a vibrating floor and a smoke machine – which gives you the sense of being in the film. The rebound therapy room has wall padding and a giant submerged trampoline, which is wheelchair friendly.
“There are several hygiene rooms around the building but in addition, each of the main teaching blocks accommodates a hygiene room that includes a Jacuzzi bath – mood lighting and a music system.
“Externally, there’s a whole raft of specialist play equipment from swings to slides to sand beds, raised planters and a fully operational greenhouse to allow the children to grow their own plants and veg. All areas are safely rubber-surfaced.
“There’s also full security around the building, with external doors only accessible with a key fob.”
“Managing and co-ordinating the M&E part of the job was the biggest challenge, said Padhraic. “Trying to understand equipment we have never seen or used before, how they work, what they need to work and how they are commissioned, along with all the accessories that come with it were all important.”
Before any first fix M&E came onsite, Padhraic held fortnightly meetings with subcontracting teams and specialist suppliers and monthly meetings with the consultant designers, Mott McDonalds.
“Once we got into the installation of the first fix we ensured that everything was co-ordinated, photographed, pre-approved prior to closing up stud walls or plaster walls to make sure all the elements of electrical and mechanical were enclosed within the walls or the ceiling voids.”
Phase one completed in March with Phase two scheduled to end in September.
A community effort
The project has had a significant social impact on the Glasgiven team and many of their supply chain.
“From the very first day, the principal and staff invited us in to the school; we’ve been to breakfast mornings and Christmas shows. Personally, it’s been nothing but a pleasure.
“It’s only when you are in this environment that you get to see how a special needs school operates. What they do for their pupils is phenomenal. This drove us on to do a bigger and better job. We could see the conditions they were working in were less than perfect and we wanted to hand over a building that was as close to perfection as we could get.
“We organised a charity walk in September 2019 to try and raise about £10,000 for specialist school equipment. When our subcontractors and suppliers got involved we ended up raising approximately £12,500 for the school.”
Glasgiven has also donated to local charities, the Forestry Service and the Men’s Shed.
“We’ve been working in this community for three years and so we wanted to give back and provide for them if we could.”
Commenting on the successful completion of Phase one, Padhraic said, “School projects are our bread and butter, but this was our first special school. Yes, it’s a little trickier because of the specialist equipment that needs to be installed, but it’s not any more difficult. It just needs more time spent on thought and design.
“This has been an extremely positive experience for the team and we’re hoping to be successful in a tender for another specialist school project later this year.”
Client: Education Authority
Main Contractor: Glasgiven Contracts
Mechanical Contractor: Thomas Hanna
Electrical Contractor: Braham Electrical
Architects: Samuel Stevenson Architects
Project Manager: Samuel Stevenson Architects
Education sector specialists, Braham Electrical, delivered the full electrical works for Rossmar Special School.
For almost 50 years, the company has worked closely with local authorities, schools, academies, universities and nurseries to provide educational environments that positively impact and influence the learning future of children.
Operating since 1972, this family-run business specialises in general contracting, response maintenance, street and floodlighting, inspection and testing across Ireland and the UK. Client satisfaction is key at Braham Electrical, with the team focused on delivering the highest standard of work across the educational, heathcare, residential, industrial and public realm sectors.
Their personalised approach to clients has built friendly and long-lasting relationships over the years, with every client given the certainty that each project will be delivered to their complete satisfaction, fulfilling their objectives on timing, quality and budget.
This attention to excellence and high skills has helped build the company’s solid reputation.
Right across the board, Braham Electrical insists on the highest possible standard and ensures this is delivered and maintained by every member of staff.
Knowing the education sector so well ensured a problem-free delivery of full electrical services for the pupils and teachers of this special school.
Commenting on the project, Jason McQuaid, Braham Electrical Director said, “The job ran very smoothly, with great relations between the main contractor, Glasgiven Contracts and the rest of the team.
“Towards the end, the client decided to extend the building to include five additional classrooms. This lengthened the project duration, and then when Covid-19 hit, presenting its own challenges to overcome, the team really pulled together to see it through to completion.”
T: +44 (0) 28 4177 2989 or
Email: [email protected]
With a vast amount of experience in the sector, Harte Demolition was the ideal contractor for the demolition of the legacy school building on the Rosmar Special School site in Limavady.
The company completed the full demolition of existing buildings for the rebuild of the new special school, waste removal and disposal. A job that went very smoothly according to Connor Harte, Director for Harte Demolition, “There were very few challenges on this project, if any. It was run in a very straightforward, professional manner with all budgets and timeframes met.”
Harte Demolition has grown rapidly over the last few years, securing an increasing amount of work from repeating clients – testament to the high regard their work is held in the industry.
The Omagh-based firm operate a large fleet of fresh vehicles, plant and machinery, reinvesting regularly to ensure the highest standards of operation. This commitment to excellence is evident in the many accreditations they hold: Safe-T-Cert, Acclaim H&S, ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management, ISO14001:2015 Environmental Management, and ISO 45001:2018 Health and Safety Management. Harte Demolition is also a member of the Northern Irish Demolition Association (NIDA), a Constructionline Gold Member.
Renowned for quality work and delivering projects before deadlines, Harte Demolition has built an expanding portfolio of work in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
In addition to demolition, they offer site clearances and removal of hazardous waste, following a pre-demolition survey – complying with any relevant legislation. Harte Demolition can also provide a construction waste recycling service, offering a safe and legal option for dealing with site waste.
Commenting on the project, Connor said, “We are Glasgiven’s preferred demolition contractor and have carried out work on numerous projects over the years for them.”
Harte Demolition, Omagh Enterprise Centre, Gortrush Industrial Estate, Omagh, BT78 5LU
T: +44 (0)28 8224 9494
E: [email protected]
As M+E consulting engineer and BREEAM assessors, Mott MacDonald worked with Samuel Stevenson & Sons Architects to develop energy efficient MEP design solutions for children with special needs at Rossmar Special School.
Services included: underfloor heating in all areas, except soft play and rebound therapy room which had ceiling mounted radiant heating; domestic water services with all pipework concealed and all hot water thermostatically mixed to avoid scalding; assisted baths with height adjustment; cooling in sensory rooms; compressed air in technology classroom; natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation; BMS and metering; general and emergency lighting; power, fire, data, CCTV and extensive access control.
Mott McDonald were delighted to provide a modern, comfortable energy efficient and welcoming premises with suitable facilities for the school’s special needs pupils.
Commenting on the project, Ian Bryson, Principal Mechanical Engineer says, “We enjoyed a close relationship with Glasgiven Contracts and their sub-contractors with the common goal of a high quality defect free building delivered on time.’’
T: +44 (0)28 90895 850
Thomas Hanna & Co
Thomas Hanna & Co Ltd has recently completed the installation of all mechanical services for the new Rossmar Special School.
The County Fermanagh firm were responsible for the following disciplines: domestic water services, rain water harvesting, mechanical ventilation systems, space and water heating, above ground drainage, sanitary ware, building management system, compressed air, air conditioning, specialised assisted equipment and gas installations.
“This project was reliant upon co-operation and delivery through our supply chain members,” says Martin Hanna, Managing Director of Thomas Hanna & Co Ltd.
“Our mechanical services programme was a key point of reference that was used for reviewing progress during our fortnightly supply chain meetings. This ensured that the necessary material and resources were in place when required to ensure our project remained on time and budget.
“Our team successfully delivered the mechanical services to Rossmar Special School, which brings Thomas Hanna & Co Ltd to over 45 new build educational projects – our fourth partnering with Glasgiven Contracts.”
Colinwell supplied their specialist AcoustaTex Acoustic Masonry Block for installation in the sports hall at Rossmar Special School.
These blocks are specifically designed to offer robust, long-term levels of sound absorption to effectively and efficiently control sound reverberation within a space, helping it to reach its audience without distortion or reflection, while at the same time minimising noise penetration through walls to adjoining areas. An issue which has become particularly pertinent since the introduction of Building Bulletin 93: Acoustic design of schools – performance standards.
Sales Director Michael McGuigan stated, “We really enjoyed being involved in the project, as it allowed us to see the AcoustaTex block that we researched and developed being put to use to provide a solution to the challenge of controlling sound reverberation.
“We work with the main contractor Glasgiven quite often, and as always, their professionalism made the entire process a pleasure. We look forward to working on more projects with them in the future.”
Specialist masonry contractor, PT Construction, delivered on the assembly hall/gym, greenhouse, classroom extensions and natural stonewalling and stone signage for Rossmar Special School.
Under the expert eye of craftsman Paddy Talbot, PT Construction has grown to become a highly respected masonry firm.
“I take great pride in the high quality work we hand over,” says Paddy. “Although there were a few challenges that needed to be overcome on this job, the expert team I chose were able to get it over the line impressively.”
Paddy started his working life as an apprentice welder for Powerscreen back in the late 1980s. When the recession hit, he retrained to join the building trade.
Commenting on the project, Paddy said, “I have worked with a lot of firms over the years and I can appreciate the efforts Glasgiven Contracts put into assembling such a great team. Their aim was to deliver a beautiful haven for young vulnerable children, which they have done in spades.
“Big cheers to all those who took part – they all know who they are – the work and the laughter was mighty.”
T: +44 (0)7528 009457
E: [email protected]
JP Corry’s Washroom division manufactured and installed all the washroom systems at Rossmar Special School – one of several school projects carried out by the specialist division over the last 18 months.
The products manufactured by JP Corry included toilet cubicles, vanity units and IPS system, all of which were fitted by their own fitting teams. The cubicle ranges selected for this contract were the JP Corry Long Life Eternal range and the JP Corry Infant range with a curved head. The Infant range colours were selected from four different laminate manufacturers.
Designing, manufacturing and installing long-life washroom solutions for over 50 years, JP Corry supplies everything from traditional washroom designs to modern contemporary styles.
Commenting on the job, Leonard Rossborough, JP Corry Doors and Washrooms Manager said, “It was a very stringent programme but, with the co-operation of the Glasgiven on-site team, we were able to achieve mutual objective.”
Innovated Aluminium Technology (IAT)
Innovated Aluminium Technology (IAT) was awarded the contract for Rossmar Special School to manufacture and install the external aluminium windows, doors and curtain walling.
From its factory in Eglinton, IAT are approved manufacturers and installers of the various architectural glazing systems which are available from Metal Technology – a leading system supplier within the aluminium glazing industry throughout the UK and Irish markets.
Commenting on the project for Rossmar Special School, Leslie McClements, Managing Director at IAT says, “This project involved close co-ordination with both the design team and ironmongery specialists so as to ensure we provided both a practical and secure environment for pupils and staff.”
Leslie stated, “Working alongside Glasgiven Contracts on this modern facility proved to be very rewarding, knowing that this building and, in particular, the greenhouse shall be enjoyed by the pupils for many years. Also, by delivering such a complex project on time and on budget, the job has strengthened our relationship with the contractor.”
J.A.K. Contracts Painting
J.A.K. Contracts Painting Ltd was the contractor of choice for Glasgiven Contracts to carry out the internal and external painting package at Rossmar Special School.
J.A.K. has had a continued working relationship with Glasgiven over the years, handing over major education projects north and south and adding to a growing portfolio of commercial contracts across the UK and Ireland.
“We are experienced to handle any type of commercial project,” said James Kelly, Contracts Manager for J.A.K. “We have worked extensively on retail, education and healthcare projects and have a highly experienced team. Our work is usually one of the last to be completed, so we know how to ensure deadlines are met.”
In addition to commercial painting and decorating packages, J.A.K. Contracts Painting covers a wide range of services in the construction industry.
“Glasgiven Contracts is a major player in the construction industry with a great reputation and J.A.K. Contracts has made a substantial effort to be involved with such a company. We look forward to working with them again on future projects.”
Stephens Catering Equipment
Stephens Catering Equipment worked seamlessly with Glasgiven Contracts on the installation of a highly efficient kitchen, servery and induction kitchen extract system to provide school meals accommodation for Rossmar Special School.
With extensive experience in the education sector, the team was able to dovetail with work being carried out by both main and sub-contractors. “Our own in-house fabrication team made all the bespoke stainless steel units, work tables, dishwasher sinks and wall cupboards,” said Paul Caves, Director at Stephens Catering Equipment.
The Stephens Catering Equipment team is delighted to have played a role in the completion of this impressive project, which will meet the requirements of pupils with specialist needs in the Limavady area for decades to come.
“It was a pleasure to work with Glasgiven Contracts. We’ve worked with them on many projects previously and look forward to the next project with them,” concluded Paul.
Tobermore provided external paving at Rossmar Special School.
Striking Mayfair Flags were supplied which give an elegant, contemporary finish to the school’s entrance.
Tobermore is going from strength to strength, currently employing over 350 people and expanding further into the UK. Their new state-of-the-art, £10m factory has helped ramp up production in response to a surge in market demand for their hard landscaping products.
Martin McKenna, Head of NI/ROI Sales at Tobermore said, “Our continual investment in innovative technologies and people, has resulted in high performance products and market-leading solutions. It is this commitment which differentiates Tobermore from our competitors.”
Commenting on the project, Martin said, “We are proud to supply a local educational scheme with attractive paving which complements the building and its surroundings.”
McLaughlin Roofing and Joinery
Delivering all roof timbers, internal joinery and external cladding was the brief for Declan McLaughlin Joinery at Rossmar Special School.
The Omagh-based company installed approximately 5,000m2 of roof timbers, all internal doors and ironmongery, screens, Iroko cladding at the front door and the entire fascia and guttering.
Declan McLaughlin has many years experience in the joinery industry working for well-known companies in Northern Ireland.
Commenting on the project at Rossmar Special School, Declan said, “This was a smooth and straightforward process for us; which it normally is with Glasgiven Contracts. They’re a very good outfit to work with. In particular, the foreman managed the site extremely well and was a great support.
“We’ve worked with Glasgiven Contracts in the past and are currently working on another project with them. We hope to be their joinery partner on many more projects in the future.”
T: +44 (0)77 1958 8759
E: [email protected]