School is in most need of replacement

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FORFAR Academy has been identified as the building most in need of replacement or upgrade by Angus Council.

The news comes as the Scottish Government prepare to roll out ‘Phase Three’ of their Schools for the Future investment programme.

Brechin is already set to benefit from ‘Phase Two’ of the initiative with their new High School and Community Campus.

Forfar Academy, which has condition and suitability both graded ‘B’, will be the most likely candidate for upgrade, the Education Committee heard at a meeting on June 19 as the Dispatch went to press.

Forfar Academy was highlighted alongside Monifieth High School and Arbroath Academy as needing the most significant work done.

In a report, Councillor Neil Logue, director of education, said: “While large elevations of curtain walling were replaced at Forfar Academy in August 2001/2002, and at Arbroath Academy in 2004 and 2005, there remain significant current issues with these school buildings.

“It is particularly notable that Arbroath Academy, the current Brechin High School, the former Carnoustie High School and Forfar Academy were all built in the same era, using the same form of construction, technology, generally comprising concrete frame, single glazed curtain walling and flat roofs, with typical problems due to water ingress through roofs and walls together with poor quality environmental conditions and internal quality.”

He continued: “While the replacement of the curtain walling at Arbroath and Forfar Academies has prolonged some aspects of the life-span of these buildings, there are, however, inherent issues which remain to be improved, particularly in the context of providing a modern learning and teaching environment.”

“Over the medium term, Forfar Academy will require significant investment to sustain the current condition/suitability position.

“The current pupil roll is around 84 per cent capacity, and therefore the challenges surrounding buildings/accommodation are consequently more acute/demanding in the short term, particularly in comparison to the position at Arbroath Acdemy.

“Accordingly, the highest secondary school priority and therefore a possible option in terms of possible council application for ‘Phase Three’ funding support.

“This proposal could be based on a community campus approach, similar to the community facility being provided in Brechin.”

Mr Logue added that there would be extensive consultations with parents, teachers and the wider community before any commitment was made to this option.

As it stands, the local authority has made an allowance of £12 million for the replacement of leisure facilities in Forfar. In terms of the plan there could be opportunity to incorporate replacement facilities within a new campus design at Forfar Academy.