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Three double-classroom modular units are being hired for Lochaber High School after news that work to repair May’s flood damage might not be completed until December.
Work is continuing at the secondary in Fort William to get the building ready for pupils coming back after the summer holidays in August, after it suffered extensive damage due to a burst internal water main pipe.
Highland Council has said the work being carried out is to dry out and clean the affected areas, and to determine the full extent of the remedial work that will be required. It is anticipated at this stage that the work may have to continue until December.
An order has been placed to hire three double-classroom modular units as temporary accommodation for the duration of the remedial works. This will free up classrooms to allow work to be undertaken in a phased manner and with the minimum of disruption to pupils and teachers.
The council is aiming for a 100 per cent return of pupils across Highland when all schools reopen for the new session in August.
The contractors will follow Scottish Government and construction industry guidance on the approach required to carry out repair work in an occupied building while some restrictions relating to the Covid pandemic remain in place.
They will work with the council’s in-house project team and school management to ensure that all necessary measures are in place for the safe return of pupils and staff in August, and as work continues during term time.
Head Teacher Scott Steele commented that, while the disruption could not have come at a more challenging time, he was confident, with the support of colleagues from across the council, that the school will be operational at the start of the new session.
‘Lochaber High School staff have all contributed to the preliminary work and will work in collaboration with all until the project is completed,’ he added.
Councillor John Finlayson, chairperson of the council’s Education Committee, added: ‘A lot of work has been done to put in place arrangements so pupils can return to their school so I would like to thank everyone involved for their excellent work and I am sure parents and pupils will be delighted to hear this positive news.’