Further delay to replacement High School could cost £500k

Elgin High School – fears of further cost increase and delays

A NEW HIGH SCHOOL being planned for Elgin is facing further delay by five months as protracted negotiations over disposal of excavated materials continue.

It was expected that completion of the new Elgin High School would see the campus handed over by October next year. However, members of the children and young people’s service committee were told this week that the earliest that would now happen would be February 2017.

Now fears are being expressed that the £28million cost of the project could rise if any further delays are experienced.

Graham Jarvis, who is head of lifelong learning, culture and sport at the local authority, told councillors that the issue was currently not in their hands, saying that a response was still awaited from SEPA before any progress could be made on financial planning for the project.

He said: “We need to receive confirmation on where we can store materials excavated from the new site, as if we have to transport them that will add thousands to the cost of the work.

“The difference between storing materials on-site and storing them off-site could be as much as £500,000.”

Moray Council has until the end of June to gain approval of the works from SEPA. Council Convenor Allan Wright told the committee that the Leader of the Council, Stewart Cree, would be meeting Scottish Government ministers to raise the matter with them next week.

The cost of replacing the ageing High School has already increased several times. In February last year Moray Council agreed an additional £3million could be spent on their share of the costs to build the new school.

At that time the school was reported to be costing the local authority £12.9million with an additional £11.6million coming from Holyrood.