The demolition of Hawkins House, the old Department of Health headquarters, is expected to take place next year, an Office of Public Works (OPW) spokesperson has told the Medical Independent (MI).
“The OPW appointed a multidisciplinary team on 23 May 2019 to progress the demolition of Hawkins House,” the spokesperson told MI. “It is anticipated that following the tender process and award of demolition contract, works will commence on-site in 2020.”
The majority of Department staff left Hawkins House in the summer of 2018 to move to the new headquarters at Miesian Plaza, Baggot Street Lower in Dublin. However, the OPW only took full possession of Hawkins House on 24 June this year.
“The OPW has acquired full planning permission for a new development on the site,” according to its spokesperson.
Concerns have been raised about the space available for any staff expansion in the new Department headquarters. However, a spokesperson told this newspaper there is ongoing engagement with the OPW on this matter.
“The Department of Health occupies 4.2 floors of the seven floors in Miesian Plaza, with a staff complement of 522,” said the Department’s spokesperson.
“There are three other tenants in the building, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (two floors), the Department of Finance (0.4 floors), and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (0.4 floors).
“Staff expansion was anticipated in the initial move through 2019 and the Department has an ongoing engagement with the OPW on its future accommodation requirements.”
Regarding the future of the Sláintecare Programme Implementation Office and its possible need for expansion, the spokesperson said this office “is located in the Department of Health’s HQ at Miesian Plaza and consists of 19 staff”.
Overall, there are 71 cellular offices on the Department’s floors. The rest of the accommodation is open plan, said the spokesperson.