Council reassured over quality of new Anderson High School

Reassurances have been given that the new Anderson High School is being built to the highest possible standard.

That follows the emerging row about the build quality of Edinburgh schools, of which many are under scrutiny.

Members of today’s Shetland Islands Council education and families committee heard there were no safety concerns surrounding any schools in the isles.

Seventeen school buildings in Edinburgh were closed amid major concerns over the standard of the construction work.

The 10 primaries, five secondaries and two additional support needs schools in the capital which have been shut down were all built under the same public private partnership contract.

Children's services director Helen Budge.
SIC director of children’s services Helen Budge gave assurances over the new AHS.

SIC director of children’s services Helen Budge said the Scottish government had written to all all local authorities, urging them to ensure their school buildings were built to a good enough standard.

She said the £55.75 million high school and hall of residence project was “financially secure”.

“Hubco have said repeatedly that the Anderson High School is the most scrutinised project that they have,” Mrs Budge told members.

The high school’s project manager, Trevor Smith, insisted the building was not a “copied, or regurgitated design”. The school, he said, took account of the comparatively harsh conditions.

“The building is designed for the Shetland climate,” he said.

Current construction works ongoing relate to the basic primary structure. Mr Smith said cladding works would follow into the early summer.

The meeting heard that extensive surveys already took place locally, which meant that no additional checks would be required. Council estates executive manager Carl Symons said officials knew of no structural issues.

The reassurances come after experienced architect and Shetland West councillor Frank Robertson praised the high school project at the previous education and families meeting.

Speaking at the time Mr Robertson described the work being carried out by Morrison Construction as being of “an extremely high standard”.

Addressing members today, chairwoman Vaila Wishart said: “I think what we’ve heard is quite reassuring. This is one of the most scrutinised projects Hubco have been involved with.”


Add Your Comment
  • John Irvine

    • April 12th, 2016 13:37

    “Famous last words” comes to mind.

    Watch this space.

    • Christopher Johnston

      • April 13th, 2016 5:11

      The Titanic was termed “practically unsinkable” before it sank.

      Another concern is the height of the building versus the 13.5 meter long (maximum) ladders normally carried on the pump rescue ladder fire appliances. The top floor appears to much higher above grade than could be reached with a 13.5 meter ladder. How do the fire brigade plan to evacuate the top floor if the stairwells are blocked? How will they fight a fire on the top floor if the stairwells are blocked? Perhaps it is time for the fire brigade to add a hydraulic platform appliance.

  • Johan Adamson

    • April 13th, 2016 8:58

    One of the schools built in Stromness has been covered in netting of late as all the slates or tiles were blowing off. The nails are being blamed I think

  • Donnie Morrison

    • April 13th, 2016 12:54

    Perhaps we should all remember how long the replacement stonework on the Town Hall has lasted despite all the input from ‘experts’.


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