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Council to check other buildings after school roof fails

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By Fiona Reid
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Council to check other buildings after school roof fails

FEARS were expressed this week that the problems with Beattock Primary School roof might have been replicated across the region in other buildings.

Therefore, councillors have instructed that other structures which were constructed by the local authority around the same time, 12 years ago, be checked for issues too.

They also welcomed news that there will be a full investigation into what went wrong at the village school, leaving them with a £1.8 million repair bill for the water damaged and rotten roof, which will take a year to fix.

The situation was discussed by the full council at a meeting in Dumfries on Tuesday.

Cllr Andy McFarlane said: “It’s quite woeful that we have a building that’s only 12 years old that needs a new roof at a substantial cost to the people of Dumfries and Galloway.”

Cllr David Ingles agreed and said: “I have a major issue with the fact this school is only 12 years old and we’re having to spend another nearly £2m to rectify what appears to be design faults.

“This has echoes of a previous issue with previous buildings we had over the last five years and it’s just astonishing.

“I would be looking for a full investigation as to what happened.”

And Cllr Richard Marsh added: “This did raise alarm bells with me.”

Meanwhile, Cllr Sean Marshall said: “My concern is we cannot rule out any other capital projects done round about the same time, before we changed the way we do capital projects, we need to do checks on any similar buildings.

“How confident are we with regard that, because what we do not want is another report coming up in a few years time with another school, or another council building, requiring additional funding to repair defects that probably could have been sorted out a lot earlier.

“It might just be an isolated incident at Beattock but we have got to make sure.”

And Councillor Ian Carruthers welcomed confirmation of an investigation and said: “I want to understand the detail about what went on, we need to understand what went wrong and why it went wrong.”

Council property manager Paul McCulloch had the task of answering members’ questions.

He confirmed the indemnity period for the roof had expired but also revealed the work at the time had been done inhouse and gave reassurances that there are different systems in place now. Mr McCulloch also confirmed an investigation will follow.

Explaining how the problems were discovered, he told councillors: “It was very difficult to be able to ascertain this issue because it lay in the fabric of the building itself. What we thought was some localised roof leaks around some solar panel fixings turned out to be a lot more extensive than that.

“The issues we have got are predominantly three fold: condensation because insulation was placed on the wrong side; poor detailing from external perspective with fascias and gutters; solar panel fixings.

“It’s anticipated that in order to fully specify, design, procure, construct and complete it would take a 12 month period. The target is to have this work done by a year from now.”

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