Enterprise college still plagued by problems

By Martin Neville

Saturday, December 7, 2013

 

Enterprise college still plagued by problems

Cowes Enterprise College, which is still suffering from problems.

MONTHS after the troubled Cowes Enterprise College was signed off by Isle of Wight Council bosses, the roof still leaks, doors need replacing and there are concerns over ventilation and temperature control in parts of the building.

The so-called 'snagging’ and design problems at the £32 million school were revealed in a report published ahead of Tuesday’s Isle of Wight Council cabinet meeting when leading councillors will be asked to hand the debacle over to Hampshire County Council property services to complete.

As previously reported, the council had been forced to appoint a new builder to finish the final phase of the project, which includes the demolition of the old school and the creation of a multi-use games area, after the previous contractor, Pihl UK, went into administration.

The council said the final bill would depend on the level of works agreed but it had committed £30,000 to start work with Hampshire to identify the problems.

The project has been plagued by delays, which started in December 2008 when the procurement process was aborted following legal advice the process was not compliant with regulations.

The cabinet papers reveal White Young Green (WYG), outside consultants drafted in to manage the project following the departure of the then interim head of strategic procurement in August 2009, had raised concerns about timings.

They also reveal the eventual successful bidder, Pihl, was initially deselected before being invited back when another firm withdrew.

The building was signed off in May and opened in September — a year late.

One of the current issues facing the school is the ongoing running and maintenance costs of the 150 air conditioning units that were placed on the roof at a late stage, when the contractor said the initial design was unable to be carried out. The ICT contract has also yet to be signed off.

According to the cabinet paper, the council does not have the in-house resources, skills or capacity to ensure the school is finished and handed over to the new proposed academy.

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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by lee churchward

10th December 2013, at 16:28:18

Mmm ok, my daughter hasnt noticed leaky ceilings, she musnt work in those classrooms. Safety is obviously of massive importance and i really hope the issues with the build get sorted soon, but like i said my daughter is enjoying her experience and her education, and yet all i hear are negatives. Im a little confused though as im quite sure as i sit outside it everyday that the old building is an even more hideous site, but as usual many people are adverse to change on the Isle of wight so im not surprised that the new build has been such a bother to people who would rather we never tried to move forward with the rest of the country and stagnate instead.

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by Paul Mellon

7th December 2013, at 22:51:57

I agree Lee Inside is exceptional and i dont think any one is knocking the teaching staff, They have done a brilliant job under very poor conditions, but it comes back to MANAGEMENT! and this whole thing has been badly managed!
They should have kept the middle schools for a bit longer and phased in the two tier system gradually!
As to the external features of the building, it has no character, it needed brick work and not all concrete that is just waiting for the kids to get their spray cans out and GRAFFITI it all,
The kids have photos of stains in the ceilings where the roof is leaking ! What ever happened to the super doopah grass roof?
I also like the sprinkler system with the lights directly underneath! in all the class rooms! Hmmm WATER AND ELECTRICITY together!!!!
How long before this building goes the same way as the old one and has to be pulled down??
I think it looks like the Old TRICORN CENTRE that Portsmouth council pulled down a few years back as it was an eye sor

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by alan naylor

7th December 2013, at 22:19:52

All the birds have now flown away 30 million no wonder we cannot get mainland or eu grants for island progects that badley need attention admin cannot be trusted

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by Stephen Elliott

7th December 2013, at 21:24:33

Inspired by leaking roofs!!! Where was she educated before? Under a tarpoulin in the woods!

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by Jake Wallace

7th December 2013, at 13:07:31

I hate to be a buzz killjoy lee, but if your daughter has just arrived from primary school i would be inclined to think shes be impressed by a 18th centruy reform school for children with crimal problems.

I'm not doubting the school isn;t up to scratch, is does only take a few bad eggs to ruin it for many. I'm glad your daughter enjoys herself as all children should in that environment.

The school itself probably wasn't thought out much to keep in line with a small commmunity feel, architect was probably told, 3 things when designing it, school, size to work with, & money, & they built the first thing he came up with.

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by lee churchward

7th December 2013, at 12:24:39

The outside of the building doesnt look all that great, but the inside wow, my daughter is so inspired and motivated. She is buzzing when she comes out with stories about her learning experiences. Im tired of the negative press, the school is working hard to turn things around and we should all be more supportive of that. Thank u Cowes for making my daighters transition from her tiny primary school an easy one. I am one very happy parent andwouldnt change her to any other school on the island. Besides its not as though any of the other school buildings are anymore inspiring looking. Its what goes on inside them that matters and so far my daughter has been improving since moving to Cowes.

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by Stephen Elliott

7th December 2013, at 12:11:18

Looks horrid, not exactly a building that inspires bright young minds. Strikes me like a visiting block in a newly built American high security prison!

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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