Council chiefs are taking immediate action to speed up £1.2 million expansion work at Beecroft Primary School in Kirkstall.
It was feared the first floor expansion at Beecroft – which would see capacity increase from 210 to 315 pupils in a bid to meet increasing demand for places – would miss the September opening date unless action was taken immediately.
Failure to meet the deadline would lead to pupils facing the disruption of being housed in temporary accommodation while work continued.
The council had become concerned about a combination of delays with the original school-appointed architect, and the complexity of the proposed work. They say that ground level accommodation needs to be returned to full working order by start of the September 2017 term.
A council officer’s report said:
“Following a series of progress meetings it was evident delays in submitting both the planning application and the tender package had created a risk of non-delivery for the start of the September term.
“As a result of this slippage in the proposed programme, it has been agreed that the proposed delivery method is no longer tenable given the technical limitations, critical accommodation requirements for September 2017 and requirement to tender the scheme. In order to meet the critical path for this scheme it is necessary to appoint a contractor immediately without further delay.”
The council says the Leeds Local Education Partnership has been approached to bring the scheme back on programme, and will use Interserve as its construction partner. The report adds:
“Any delay in the project beyond the critical path will result in greater disruption to teaching and learning in addition to a higher risk that temporary accommodation will be required.”
Building work includes remodelling works to the ground floor level be complete and ready for occupation for September 2017. This will allow the first floor structure to be installed during the summer break and allow work at first floor level to continue safely up until the original October half term handover deadline.
The council report can be read in full here.