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Beattock school reopening plans on schedule

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Moffat
Beattock school reopening plans on schedule

PUPILS at Beattock will walk back into a gleaming, upgraded school in August.

The £1.8m repair works at the primary school are “progressing well”, council chiefs confirmed this week.

As well as a brand new roof, the school will be renovated with new floors, modern LED lighting, and old furniture will be replaced with new pieces.

The site has been shut since the Easter break last year after it was uncovered that poor building construction had led to severe water damage and extensive roof repairs.

A report will be presented at the council’s education committee today giving an update on the construction works.

Mohammed Agoun, the council’s property estates and programmes manager, confirmed that the original timescale is still on schedule.

He wrote: “Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd were appointed as principal contractor and commenced work on site on November 20, 2023.

“A substantial amount of preparatory internal works was required before the roof could be removed, which included the temporary removal of mechanical and electrical services and installation of new roof joists below the existing timber roof panels.

“Removal of damaged roof panels commenced on site week commencing March 4 and the contractor is progressing well and is on programme.

“The new roof construction has been changed to avoid the previous problems and once the new roof is in place, works to reinstate the interior will commence.

“All works, including new floor coverings, new decoration, new LED lighting and replacement of existing furniture, fittings and equipment are planned to be complete for the start of the new school term after the 2024 summer holidays.”

The huge construction project has resulted in Beattock pupils being decanted to nearby Moffat Primary for nearly a year.

Given that Beattock Primary was only 12 years old when the extensive roof damage was uncovered, a full investigation was launched to find out the reasons why it occurred.

The extent of the damage and the cost to taxpayers was described as “astonishing” by furious councillors.

A report on the roof repairs revealed how an initial leak report led to the discovery of serious damage to classrooms two and three during the Easter break.

More extensive damage and serious wood rot was then found. As the condition of the building was deemed a health and safety risk, council chiefs took the decision to immediately close the school.

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