Work to be carried out at Buchan school following structural issues

Remediation works are due to be carried out at Longside School during the summer holiday period.
Remediation works are due to be carried out at Longside School during the summer holiday period.

Councillors have considered a report highlighting Aberdeenshire Council’s response to the Edinburgh Schools structural issue, agreeing an action plan and endorsing remediation works.

Following the collapse of a wall at Oxgangs Primary School in Edinburgh, an independent inquiry investigated defects in schools built under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) contract.

The report made recommendations to be considered by the construction industry, as well as local and central Government. All councils were asked to consider the findings of the report.

The actions from the report focused on the need to investigate and remedy defects in PFI/PPP schools or schools built around the same time with a similar design; a need to ensure effective design, construction and quality assurances in current and future projects; to assess the condition and safety of property assets.

Nine schools built using the PFI/PPP model have been highlighted as requiring remediation work including Longside Primary.

It was confirmed that while structural anomalies had been identified, they were not as serious as those discovered in Edinburgh, and schools could remain open based on the detailed structural appraisals carried out by Structural Engineers.

In the wake of the structural issues identified in Edinburgh, Aberdeenshire Council’s delivery partner for PFI/ PPP schools, Robertson, have confirmed their responsibility for rectification of defects identified.

Remediation works are due to be carried out during the summer holiday period in 2017

Leader of the Council, Cllr Jim Gifford, said: “The safety of the children and staff in our schools is paramount and I’m pleased to see such a rigorous approach to the recommendations set out in the Edinburgh report.”

“It is reassuring that our PFI/ PPP- built schools are structurally safe, but I welcome the news that remediation works will take place during the summer holidays.”

Deputy Leader, Cllr Peter Argyle added: “I welcome the thorough work of colleagues in our Property Service in undertaking checks across those schools built under PFI/PPP, or those built around the same time and to the same design. It is reassuring to councillors, staff and parents that the contractor has taken full responsibility for remedial works and is progressing this quickly.”