Community Campus update at committee

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Members of Angus Council’s education committee voted on Thursday, to approve a change to the procurement of Brechin community campus.

The community campus, which will replace the existing Brechin High School and was first announced in September 2009, has been approved, in principal, to now be procured via the hub design and build model, funded from the local authorities amalgamated capital funding.

The project was originally seeking procurement from the hub ‘Design, Build, Finance and Maintain’ development process.

In her report, strategic director (people), Margo Williamson, stated: “Assuming the council approves the Brechin project changing its approach to follow the hub design and build procurement arrangements, external financial, legal and technical adviser advice will no longer be required and negotiations with the respective organisations will be progressed to identify any abortive costs and discuss this position with Scottish Futures Trust colleagues with a view to mitigating costs/ minimising any impact for the council.”

The original costs of the financial, legal and technical advice would have cost the council £137,015.

The committee also received an update on the outlined scheduled for the construction of the campus.

The final design development to secure statutory consents started in September 2013 and is due to conclude in March 2014.

Phase one of the construction work, which will consist of the building of the community campus, is expected to start in April 2014, which the building work set to finish in December 2015.

The results of the change in construction will mean that pupils would move into the new building at the start 2016.

Demolition of the old school building and external works would be scheduled to start in January 2016, with the works to be completed in July of the same year.

In her report, Ms Williamson said: “The council’s affordability position has been updated and, as part of ongoing dialogue with Scottish Futures Trust colleagues, council officers have secured additional Scottish Government funding which has increased the funding metric reference cost position to £14.52 million (at 2011 prices).

“This supports the Council’s approach to provide secondary school accommodation for up to 800 pupils.”

The report also outlined changes to the funding position, outlining costs without inflation and with inflation. Without inflation, the Scottish Government is to spend £14.52 million (£15.36 million with inflation) on the campus. Angus council’s funding for the project would be £10.16 million (£10.75 million with inflation). The total cost of the project would then be £24.68 million (£26.11 million with inflation).

Ms Williamson said: “At this stage, it is estimated that the council’s contribution will most likely be in the range of £10.16 million to £10.75 million, depending on the actual impact inflation has on construction prices.

“This compares favourably to the current approved budget allocation of £12 million and consideration will be given to reducing the project budget through the 2014/15 capital budget process.”