Builders’ alleged debt puts bar on hold

Doubt has been cast over the official opening date of the new UCD Clubhouse bar as the building company that was carrying out the construction work has allegedly been declared insolvent.

A notification that appeared on InsolvencyJournal.ie on September 6th claimed that an insolvency notice had been issued for Noel Thompson Builders Limited. A firm of chartered accountants and registered auditors, Michael Higgins and Co, was listed as auditor for the company.

The Dundrum-based building group’s logo and name still appear at the site of the old Forum Bar, which was closed for renovation toward the end of the first semester in 2010.

The post on InsolvencyJournal.ie claims that Noel Thompson Builders Limited last filed accounts on July 31 2012and says that its creditors will meet on September 21 to appoint a liquidator.

Suspicions about the future of the bar were raised when several students commented that building work at the site of the old Forum Bar seemed to have stopped completely. One student remarked that when they passed the site during Orientation Week it appeared to have been abandoned.

The College Tribune has obtained images, which reveal that although the metalwork is in place and there are some materials on site, the construction of the Centre Club still appears to be in its early stages.

UCDSU Ents Officer Eoin Heffernan expressed his disappointment with the situation. “I think it’s a shame that construction on the bar has been put back. It leaves the University with no bar on campus for the foreseeable future, which isn’t great”, he told the College Tribune.

“I know a bar on campus is not a necessity but I think it’s a huge addition to any campus. Not only did it supply food and entertainment including pool tables and music, but it is also a great social outlet for students especially for bonding early in Semester 1”, Mr Heffernan added.

The only other bar on campus, the UCD Student Bar, closed earlier this year for financial reasons. Staff opted for redundancy following what had been termed a ‘temporary’ closure of the facility. The future of the building is still unclear.

Attempts to negotiate the reopening the bar for Black Monday failed, leading many students to arrange alternative events on social networking sites.

The official UCD Sport and Fitness website describes the envisioned Clubhouse as modern, funky and hip. “There will be a number of screens, showing a range of different sports at the same time and UCD sporting images of success, celebration, action and participation will be prominent throughout. Upstairs there will be a more traditional style room where old framed images, trophies and captains boards will be placed to remember the fine athletes, teams and sports people of UCD throughout the years”, it says.

It is not known how long it will take to finish construction of the Centre Club and it is still unclear whether another company has been appointed to complete the work. A representative for the UCD Buildings and Estates Office had yet to reply to the College Tribune at the time of going to press.

According to the building company’s website, Noel Thompson Builders Limited had previously worked on several projects in UCD, including the Zen Garden at the main restaurant, the Virus Reference Laboratory and the School of Architecture.

The College Tribune made several attempts to contact a representative for the company but each proved unsuccessful.

UCD College Tribune, September 11th 2012

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