The rise in the cost of materials due to ‘Brexit uncertainty’ will see Flintshire County Council forced to find hundreds of thousands of pounds to complete the next phase of a high schools modernisation programme.
The second phase of the multi-million programme at Connah’s Quay High School needs a further cash injection of £300,000 to see it completed as planned.
The first phase of the major upgrade programme was competed on-time and within budget, it saw the replacement of the existing Design and Technology (D&T) block and Art and Food Technology block.
A new two-storey building comprising of D&T, Food Tech, Art and Design and room for additional teaching provision, office space, toilets, lift, stairs and a plant room, it was completed in December.
The work forms part of the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education Programme and follows the successful completion of Holywell Learning Campus and Deeside 6th Form College.
Phase 2 of the project was initially budgeted to cost £4m, it will see external cladding, a replacement Sports Hall roof, demolition of existing administration block and refurbishment of accommodation to provide a new administration area.
Senior Councillors will be asked to approve the additional £300,000 needed to complete the work.
A report to be presented at a Cabinet meeting next week states:
“The project (phase2) in its current form cannot be achieved for the original estimate of £4m.
The project figure is £300k (or 7.5%) above the original estimate at £4.3m.”
This, according to a report, is due to:
-Building materials cost increase as a result of Brexit uncertainty.
-Additional areas of refurbishment have been included in the sports block since the original estimate. Originally the majority of the sports block was being refurbished with small areas and circulation spaces excluded. A better end product would be realised by including these areas.
-Following re-inspection of the sports hall roof, additional works are required in this area.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Youth, Councillor Ian Roberts, said:
“We could reduce the scope of Phase 2 to bring it within the funding envelope.
However, to ensure that we have the best facilities for our students, both current and future, we should do all we can to find the extra £300,000.
It could be possible to redirect funding from other areas of the programme or take advantage of residual efficiencies made in other projects.
A project update will be presented to Councillors at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, 22nd January.