Councillors will learn this week that the contractor’s tasked with building the new Elgin High School have reduced an estimated overspend on the project by £1.5million.
In a progress report being placed before members of the Children and Young People’s Services Committee on Wednesday, Shona Leese, the senior project officer, reminds councillors that a revision on the capacity of the new school would see the budget being exceeded by £3million.
Construction ‘abnormals’ were quoted by developers HubCo for the increased cost, adding that these included peat, the need for extensive piling and the link to the Edgar Road extension.
It was also noted that the “..relative remoteness of Elgin combined with its proximity to the inflated construction market of Aberdeen means that building costs will tend to be greater than average.”
However, the report adds: “A series of value engineering exercises have been undertaken which have reduced the projected overspend to £1.5m.
“HubCo have produced a further schedule, largely focussing on the procurement process, that if successful could bring the project within budget.
“It should be noted, however, that at this stage all costs are estimates and will remain uncertain until stage 2 of the process when all parties will agree final figures.”
Consideration was given to reducing the size of the new school to bring costs into line but that was rejected by the project board because it would compromise the operation of the school and that a redesign would cause an overall delay in the project.
The report adds that a revised design, programme and new costs proposals have been submitted to the Scottish Future’s Trust showing a shortfall of £1,515,931.
Construction of the new school is scheduled to begin in March next year with completion of the first construction phase in October 2016.