At a Wick stakeholders meeting held on Monday 19 September at Wick High School, representatives from Hub North Scotland and Morrison Construction gave an update on reasons for the delay and outlined a revised programme for the Wick campus delivery.
The meeting was chaired by Highland Councillor Bill Fernie who expressed the Council’s disappointment at the delay, and re-stated the Council’s priorities to ensure that the flagship facility is completed to the standard expected, and accepting handover only at that point.
Angus MacFarlane, Chief Executive of Hub North Scotland advised the group of a revised handover date for the Campus of Friday 2 December 2016 which remains subject to a number of risks.
He explained that there is a detailed dialogue taking place between Highland Council, Hub North Scotland and Morrison Construction on the revised programme and decant arrangements for Wick High School, Newton Park Primary and High Life Highland community facilities.
The Council is working on detailed plans for the school moves with Head Teachers and High Life Highland, and is considering options for the moves either side of the festive period, with anticipated occupation of the new campus in early January, or around the mid-term break in February, with occupation by the end of February. The Council made clear to the Stakeholder Group that the move plans are still being developed and had to be realistic, achievable, and not impact on the learning and teaching of pupils. The Council recognises that pupils and parents will want early notification of when the schools’ will commence within the new facility and that will be provided as soon as possible.
Depending on Hub north Scotland and their contractor Morrison Construction handing over the building and the Council accepting it on 2 December, the Council will provide early notification to parents of the expected occupation arrangements.
Ian MacGillivray from the Council’s Project Design Unit provided an update on the delayed Safer Routes to Schools elements of work on the approaches to the school. BEAR Scotland will install a new pedestrian crossing on Francis Street and the Council’s contractor will carry out work in Seaforth Avenue and Thurso Road – all during October.
There will be a further package of safety improvements next spring after demolition of the existing school is complete. The delay to the Road Traffic Orders for the 20mph zone around Wick Noss school is also being prioritised as a matter of urgency.