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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by alan naylor

5th April 2014, at 18:28:31


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by Colin Barton

3rd April 2014, at 09:04:20

The builders are responsible,otherwise demolish it and turn it into a car park!

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by Paul Mellon

1st April 2014, at 20:53:13

Correct meif I am wrong but £40k to APPOINT a specialist team to INVESTIGATE the leaks! and £40k for an asbestos survey! thats £80k Before any work is done ! and all this was supposed tohave been done by phill the original contractor!! How nuch will all this add upto by the time all the shoddy work has been rectified and the old building demolished!

As to being compliant with fire safety rules I would question the design as in the majority of rooms the sprinkler system is directly above the lights! I always thought that you kept water well away from electricity!!!

I have said this before and i will say it again the building is an Eye Sore and looks like the TRICORN centre that was always referred to as an ugly building and was pulled down several years ago! Although I am sure CEC is a state of the art inside I cant see it still standing in 20 years from now and if it is all the concrete wall will be covered in graffiti

I just feel sorry for the Kids!

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by Valerie Ching

1st April 2014, at 18:22:21

As today is April 1, I am unsure if this is a non-fiction report. If it is "for real" I admit that despite my solid1950s grammar school education, I have now totally lost the plot on this story. IW Council hands over £357,500 to Hampshire C C . iWC doesn't have this money and will tap the government, flog off a building or land, or take on more debt to be serviced by homeowners through council tax with draconian sanctions and no regard to ability to pay. £40k will go to appointing a team (1 or more) to say why the roof leaks. Why is this not a snagging item for the original builders/architects? For the rest under the Dept of Education's dash to privatisation rules, IWC have promised another third party a building fit for purpose to run as an educational business. Staff (some teachers among them ) will be employed to educate children to a standard acceptable to yet another government appointed body (OFSTED). Gilbert and Sullivan you were born in the wrong century,

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by B Lane

1st April 2014, at 17:55:24

In the current culture where Bankers are rewarded for bringing the country to it's knees and Local Authorities think it normal to have no responsibility when something under their control goes wrong I shall be stunned & amazed if any of our elected representitives stick their heads over the parapet and make comment on this. Far easier to sweep it under the carpet and then when asked for an explanation say that it's not in the public interest.

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by Jack Woodford

1st April 2014, at 16:13:11

They've had an investigation. No one was to blame, apparently. And I mean an administration that's as transparent as the current one wouldn't be pulling the wool over our eyes, now would it?

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by David Blackford

1st April 2014, at 15:25:11

I totally agree with everything Mr Lane says - A disgusting state of affairs - someone must surely be brought to book

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by B Lane

1st April 2014, at 14:21:00

£20k to ensure the place complies with fire safety? Are the Council saying the place has been built with no or substandard alarms and exits? Please tell me this is a joke.

Did the Council have nobody at all overseeing this project or were they completely blinded by some fancy graphics and a good presentation, oh sorry, those in charge have already left haven't they. As for the other £60k ... beyond a joke and somebody should be held responsible for it.

Would it be remiss to ask what Building Control were doing when this was being built, years ago I worked on the construction of schools and Building Control & the authorities Architects department seemed to live on site.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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