Skip to content

More concerns at crisis campus

1 Share
By Abbey Morton
Dumfries and West
More concerns at crisis campus

 ‘INTRUSIVE checks’ of every fitting in every room have been taking place at a crisis hit school in Dumfries this week, as investigations into the failings at the North West Campus continue.

The state-of-the-art £28m site in Lochside was closed indefinitely last week after the fourth incident in two months.

And the situation was top of the agenda when the council’s Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning (CYPLL) Committee met on Thursday, with councillors expressing anger at the catalogue of errors. They were told that visual inspections by independent experts, including architects, planners, engineers and designers, have thrown up a number of ‘high or medium priority’ concerns.

Feelings were running high among elected members. Tory group spokesman Cllr Doug Fairbairn said: “We shouldn’t be in the state we are in now, moving pupils away to other schools. How did we get it so wrong?”

And Lochar member John Charteris added: “This brings reputation problems again for Dumfries and Galloway Council.”

Council chief executive Gavin Stevenson is yet to release an official statement on the failings at the school and neither he, nor education director Colin Grant attended yesterday’s meeting. Angry at the lack of response from the management team, Cllr Charteris added: “We don’t have the two people here who should be, the two people responsible – the chief executive and the director. They are the ones responsible for this whole debacle.

“This thing has been rushed through and now it looks like a cover up.”

Meanwhile, acting director of CYPLL Gillian Brydson has written to the developer to express the council’s loss of confidence in the ability to deliver the campus in line with the contract.

Independent experts spent the weekend and earlier this week at the school, which has seen a ceiling have to be brought down, a door come off its tracks, a council employee taken to hospital with an alleged broken hip following an incident in the shower area of the accessible toilet and last week a wall-mounted electronic teaching board fell onto a nursery child. Initial inspections have found ‘grub screws’ missing from the fixings of the screen and a rail stop which failed on the sliding door.

However, it also emerged yesterday that a clerk of works has spent the week checking every fitting in every room. Once all the issues are identified they will be passed to the developer hub South West Scotland and contractor Graham to prepare a programme of repairs.

On Wednesday senior council officials and Graham Construction held a ‘robust discussion’ on the issue. They then released a joint statement saying: “A joint commitment was made to address all issues, working alongside staff representatives in an open and transparent way.

“Independent checks are continuing this week in every part of the building, and an agreed programme is expected next week to address all identified works, ensuring the community campus can fully open.”

Annan and Eskdale, Front

19th Jul

Sex assault probe

By Christie Breen | DNG24