LCC member says demolition figure seemed ‘plucked from thin air’

An initial cost estimate of the partial demolition of the old Anderson High School appears to have been “plucked from thin air”.

A member of Lerwick Community Council has insisted the figure – previously believed to be the price of beginning the process of knocking the old school down – seemed inaccurate.

Answers as to how the costs escalated by an extra £2.4 million will be brought back to elected members.

Community councillor Gary Robinson was speaking at Monday night’s LCC meeting after the issue was raised by member Arwed Wenger.

“Can we get some information about the breakdown of the old Anderson High School and the cost?” Mr Wenger asked.

Lerwick North member John Fraser said council chief executive Maggie Sandison was bringing a report back to councillors “with regard to the methodology that was used for the costing of the original demolition of the site”.

He said doing so would help members see where any possible “miscalculations” were, and what lessons might be learned in the future.

“It’s happening,” he told Mr Wenger.

But Mr Robinson said the earlier £1 million figure had not seemed right, particularly given the cost of other large-scale projects.

“A round figure of £1 million just seemed to have been plucked out of thin air,” he said.

He added a report on the old library had pointed towards a £1 million cost.

“It seems to me the demolition of the Anderson High School was always going to be far in excess of £1 million.”


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