New Boroughmuir High School delayed again by ‘adverse weather’

Work continues on the new high school. Picture: Greg Macvean
Work continues on the new high school. Picture: Greg Macvean
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THE opening of the new Boroughmuir High School has been put back for a second time because of “adverse weather”, the Evening News has learned.

Education bosses have revealed that work on the £35 million replacement campus, located on the bank of the Union Canal in Fountainbridge, will not be completed until October 28.

It means the new secondary will open to pupils in January, after the Christmas holidays.

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Youngsters were originally due to move in at the start of the new school session in August. It emerged in June last year that the opening had been delayed by two months after “challenging” foundation work slowed construction.

In a briefing note to councillors, city chiefs said: “We have been advised by our contractor, OHMG, that due to the adverse weather conditions which they have experienced over the last few months, the construction work on the new school building will finish five weeks later than they had anticipated and will now not be completed until October 28, 2016.

“This was not entirely unexpected as the timing and method of construction for the new Boroughmuir is very weather dependent – high winds prevent the use of cranes to pour the concrete to the upper levels, a process which, in itself, is significantly affected by snow, rain and low temperatures, all of which we have experienced lately.

“Having gone through the programme critical path there are no remedial measures which OHMG could take to bring the completion date forward.”

Opposition figures have expressed concern. Local Green councillor Gavin Corbett said: “As a daily cyclist past the new school, I am disappointed but not remotely surprised at this news.

“It has been apparent for weeks that the school was still a long way off finished.

“It has certainly been a windy and wet winter, although not an especially cold one and there was exceptionally kind weather last autumn, when I would have hoped the project could have got ahead of schedule.”

He added: “I know this is OHMG’s first foray into building schools in Scotland, although I would not have expected the conditions to be very different to their native Ireland.

“Anyway, the main priority now is for the new deadline to be cast in stone and for the new year of 2017 to be a new year for Boroughmuir.”

Education chiefs said that, although “unfortunate”, the delay would allow the highly regarded school to organise “familiarisation visits” for pupils and staff in the run-up to the January opening date.

City education leader Councillor Paul Godzik said: “We had always intended to move over a school holiday period to minimise disruption to the school community.

“The building is very much starting to take shape and the new Boroughmuir High School will provide a fantastic teaching and learning environment to continue the school’s first-class academic track record.”

OHMG were not available for comment.

johnpaul.holden@edinburghnews.com