New School Opening Delayed To Monday

The new school site yesterday

The new school won’t be opening tomorrow and the start of term has been rescheduled for Monday 12th September.

Project Manager for Mace, Phil Osmond, informed school management and the Council that the building was behind schedule after an inspection yesterday morning. He says he is ultimately responsible for the delay in handover but he says he is confident it will be ready by Monday.

Externally there’s still quite a bit of tidying up to do but Phil says the work required inside is limited to painting, filling and tidying up electrical sockets. They also need to move the furniture into the right rooms. Phil says it is too much to do with one day left but is achievable between now and Monday.

From Radio Scilly

Recording of press briefing yesterday afternoon

Extra staff were brought in yesterday and are working late but Phil doesn’t anticipate the need for overnight work.

Philip Hygate, Council Chief Executive, said there is still “a great deal to be proud of” adding that the project was originally planned for completion in October half term. The scheme was brought forward, according to Mr Hygate, because the school wanted that and it made more sense to start the beginning of the school year on one site rather than splitting the term in two locations with different timetables.

He says it’s the only major school project of its type that’s been delivered ahead of schedule and doesn’t feel that the new school opening being delayed will bring bad publicity.

Kier construction won’t be penalised because their contract agreement requires completion in October.

However, the delay does mean that the planned open day on Saturday has been cancelled. Headteacher Bryce Wilby says the students should see their school first rather than the general public adding it was important that the youngsters experienced a ‘wow’ factor when entering the school and a few days delay would ensure that experience.

Bryce says most staff feel the delay is the best move and all parents have been contacted to keep them informed. He said parents were informed by phone and most have taken it in their stride saying they were expecting it.

Bryce says it is a shame to loose three days from the school year but they should be able to make it up without changing planned holiday dates.

Some parents are claiming they will be out of pocket with having to unexpectedly fund childcare for three days, something they say could bring in a bill of around £100.

The Council won’t offer compensation but is arranging for the holiday club and school staff to operate a free, creche-like service for younger children at Carn Thomas tomorrow, Thursday and Friday.

Joel Williams says they cannot accommodate 150 pupils, so he needs to hear from parents who are having childcare problems.