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Local councillors call for Moray Council to fix flooding issues at Forres Academy once and for all


By Garry McCartney

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Technical block classrooms were affected by the latest flooding at the school. Pictures: Becky Saunderson
Technical block classrooms were affected by the latest flooding at the school. Pictures: Becky Saunderson

A MORAY councillor has urged the local authority to assess repeat flooding at Forres Academy.

Claire Feaver (Forres, Conservative) raised the issue at a meeting of the economic development and infrastructure services committee following the second flood at the school in as many months.

Cllr Feaver has requested, as a matter of urgency, an update on what is planned to put the damage right.

She said: “Given that we only recently had substantial work done at the academy which, as I understand it, included the roof, it is very disappointing that we should be faced with more problems of water ingress.

“We need a permanent solution, and an understanding of why the previous work has not proven durable.”

Water pools in Forres Academy's car park after heavy rainfall. Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Water pools in Forres Academy's car park after heavy rainfall. Picture: Becky Saunderson..

The latest flood started when rainwater pooled in Forres Academy’s car park off Sanquhar Road between Friday, November 26 and Saturday, November 27, eventually reaching the building itself.

A Moray Council spokesperson confirmed classrooms and teaching areas were affected. These were believed to be in the technical block off Burdsyard Road, alongside the Mosset Burn.

She said: “Thanks to the swift action of colleagues, the school was opened to all pupils on the Monday morning, with some classes being held in different rooms and families informed of these changes.”

The affected areas dried out within a few days, at which point a full clean allowed pupils and teachers access again.

The spokesperson added: “Our property services team and contractors are working to facilitate repairs and clean-up due to water ingress, thought to be caused by persistent heavy rainfall coupled with a blocked downpipe.”

The school was also closed on Tuesday, July 27, after the ground floor suffered water damage on the previous evening during a flash flood. A compression joint failed in a water pipe on the first floor. The main school office, pupil support base and some classroom and corridors were affected.

The local authority invested more than £1 million in a replacement roof for Forres Academy in 2016.

Former Forres Academy teacher George Alexander (Forres, Independent) pointed out that flooding in November was due to roof drainage failing and again during Storm Arwen.

He said: “The money that was spent on Forres Academy’s new roof was supposed to have solved the water ingress problem, but the frequency of flooding events seems to have increased.

“We must get to the bottom of this as our teaching staff and pupils have enough to contend with.”

Cllr Lorna Creswell (Forres, Independent) believes the repairs made so far have proved costly and inadequate.

She said: “The repairs have been expensive and ineffective.

“We need a robust replacement school that can cope with diverse weather conditions.

“Education staff should not have to clear up flooding at weekends to ensure the school is prepared for the pupils to resume their studies on Mondays.”

Cllr Aaron McLean (Forres, SNP) is disappointed Forres Academy continues to have water ingress despite “extensive works in the last few years”.

He said: “Thankfully a member of staff took swift action to minimise the damage.

“I hope these continued events are taken into consideration in the Learning Estate review in the new year.”



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