Thursday 23 September 2010

Harris Academy - report to Education Committee

As reported in today's Courier, I have written to the Director of Education and the Head of Secondary Education at Dundee City Council about the report going to Education Committee on Monday about the Harris Academy proposed re-build.    The questions I have asked are as follows:

"In advance of committee on Monday, I have some questions I’d be grateful if you could respond to prior to the meeting :

a) When the Harris Academy rebuild was last at committee, I asked about ‘front loading’ the project using the City Council’s third share of the capital cost to enable a start earlier on site. Reading 4.25 on this report appears to rule that out, assuming that construction works can only start when the funding from Scottish Government comes forward in 2013/14. Can you clarify? I should have thought that the council’s £10.41 million contribution could have been front loaded to enable an earlier start? Can I also make the point that if the opportunity to start earlier is missed, so may be the opportunity to take advantage of the highly competitive construction costs that are available at present in the current climate in the construction industry

b) If you confirm that work will definitely not start in advance of 2013/14, can I ask what additional financial provision will be given to the school for maintenance for the 3 years that the school will remain in the existing building?

c) I note the only reference to community facilities is “swim pool reception” and “swim pool entrance (cafĂ©)” – can I seek clarification that community use and facilities will be no less than at St Paul’s Academy and at Grove Academy?"

I will, of course, update constituents on the response received.