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£605k bill to tackle Forres Academy concrete problem

By Hazel Lawson Local Democracy Reporter

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Forres Academy.
Forres Academy.

Dealing with defective concrete at Forres Academy will cost Moray Council more than £605,000.

That figure relates to the work needed to make the school safe and to reopen classrooms that are currently closed.

However there are also other costs.

Firstly, there will also be annual costs of £19,000 to monitor the state of the Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in the building.

On top of that it is expected to cost more than £14,000 during the winter term alone to continue transporting senior pupils taking practical subjects not currently being delivered at Forres to other schools in Elgin and Lossiemouth.

Then there is the £25,000 that has been spent on 70 laptops to help with disruption to learning.

The council has been successful in a bid for Scottish Government to fund the cost of constructing a new Forres Academy building.

A completion date of December 2027 is a condition of the money being approved.

RAAC was discovered in Forres Academy during the summer. As a result the top floor is closed.

Pupils have missed lessons and had to move to remote learning at times to allow work to be carried out.

Two science labs and other classrooms on the first floor as well as stairs to access them are expected to open by the start of the new term in January.

In her report head of education Vivienne Cross said: "This is a period of disruption for all at Forres Academy, and in particular for pupils who have shown great resilience at a difficult time.

"Staff are working in alternative classroom areas often in multiple classes and this too is having an impact on them.

"However all are to be congratulated on their agility and flexibility to support pupils and to ensure that learning continues."

The committee will discuss the RAAC issues at Forres Academy at a meeting on Tuesday, November 28.

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