Costs continue to rise for Cowes school

By Emily Pearce

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Costs continue to rise for Cowes school

Cowes Enterprise College.

A FURTHER £357,500 of taxpayers' cash looks set to be spent on Cowes Enterprise College, which remains plagued by building problems.

According to a report due to go before the Isle of Wight Council's executive on Tuesday, the £32m flagship school — which eventually admitted students in September, a full year after it was due to open — has been blighted by numerous ongoing problems.

The roof is leaking, doors need replacing and there are concerns over ventilation and temperature control in certain areas of the building — and the final cost of bringing the building up to scratch could run into millions.

The report recommends allocating a further £357,500 to Hampshire County Council, to repair some defects and carry out further investigation and scoping works, in addition to £40,000 already committed.

Some £40,000 will go towards appointing a specialist team to investigate the leaks in the roof, £20,000 towards ensuring the building is compliant with fire safety rules and £40,000 towards an asbestos survey of the old building.

The school is due to be taken over by the Ormiston Academies Trust in September.

According to he report: "The council needs to ensure the completion of this project. Once the building works have been completed, the final handover to the new academy will need to be made. At this stage, however, it would be wrong to speculate on the costs and options until the full scoping works have been completed."

The report warns it will exceed available budgets, if further government funding is not forthcoming, and the authority may have to borrow money or use capital receipts from selling property.

Full costs are due to be brought before the executive next month and a public meeting will be held at the college, to discuss the project.



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