Are city chiefs fit to take on gym builders?

Currie High School
Currie High School
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CITY council chiefs are set to take action against contractors who built a school’s gym after it was destroyed during heavy rain.

A “defective area” is being blamed for causing the rain water to seep through the gym hall door at Currie Community High School, warping the expensive flooring and causing £70,000 worth of damage.

The gym facilities will be closed for another three months while the work is put out to tender and the special sprung flooring is replaced. Council chiefs will be footing the repair bill in the first instance in order to get the work carried out as quickly as possible.

They say they will be pursuing the contractors who built the gym hall three years ago for the costs.

The damage was caused after heavy rainfall in July.

When the floor dried out the following month, it was discovered that the water had caused permanent damage and would have to be replaced.

The gym was closed to pupils and community groups and will remain closed at least until December.

Pupils are taking PE lessons in the dining hall and smaller school gym hall, while the council is working with the community groups who use the sports facilities outwith school hours to help them find alternative halls.

It is understood the gym hall is due to be used by pupils sitting their prelim exams at the end of the year and that council bosses are trying to have the work completed in time.

Local Conservative councillor Alastair Paisley was first alerted to the problem by a pupil, who came to his door.

He said: “The pupil was concerned he wasn’t going to get his usual sports practice.

“I e-mailed [director of education] Gillian Tee to ask what was going on and got a phone call from property services telling me what had caused the damage.

“Basically there was no run-off drain so the rain water went under the door and under the floor of the gym, which is special imported sprung wood, and has ruined the whole thing.

“The main thing is to get the gym operational, then they will work out who to recover the costs from. I am concerned that groups who use the hall are being displaced.

“Gillian Tee said the school is managing to cope but it’s not easy, so that is also a concern.”

A city council spokesman said: “We are making funding for repairs available upfront so pupils and the community can get their hall back but we will be pursuing costs as the defective area was built as part of a contract to develop the new facility.”

gemma.fraser@edinburghnews.com