£21million schools project expected to overshoot by £165k

Schools refurbishment project expected to overshoot its target.
Schools refurbishment project expected to overshoot its target.

STEPS ARE BEING taken to cut the final costs of Moray’s major school refurbishment programme as it is estimated to go over-budget by around £165,000.

In a report prepared for the children and young people’s services committee at Moray Council this week, Fiona Grant, the senior project officer for the additional improvements works programme, is highlighting progress so far.

Ms Grant reports good progress on the £21million improvement programme to Applegrove, Millbank, Seafield and St Gerardine Primary Schools. The programme was initially expected to be completed by March next year – however, an earlier report said that target had slipped to May.

In her latest update good progress now means the works should be over by Easter – however, costs are now estimated to exceed the maximum £21,360,000 set for the programme – with costs now expected to reach £21,526,855.

Ms Grant says in the report: “Discussions are progressing on reducing the scope of the external works at all locations and other value engineering options are also being considered, to ensure completion of the essential refurbishment works is achieved within the agreed budget.

“Progress with agreement of these savings will be reported to the next Children and Young People’s Services Committee.”

It has been business as usual at all four schools throughout the works – but the report says that the relationship between school staff and contractors has been “positive”, adding: “The staff at the schools have coped well with the change and upheaval and have continued to deliver the curriculum in challenging circumstances.

“Regular updates are given to staff and parents via school and Council newsletters with regular interface meetings being held with all parties involved including Head Teachers and School Parent councils.”

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