North Yorkshire County Council has recently completed one of the most significant repair and maintenance programmes ever to over 40 schools across the county, so that they are safe, warm and weather tight for the coming winter.
The programme has addressed some longstanding repair issues and made some general improvements to school buildings as part of the county council’s commitment to providing a quality environment for teaching and learning.
Despite significant reductions in Government money for investment in school buildings, the county council has increased maintenance funding to renew school roofs, replace windows and floors where necessary and upgrade school heating and electrical infrastructure.
County Councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Schools said:
At a time when the county council is facing significant reductions in the money that is available to invest in school buildings it is important that we focus our investment in the right areas. We believe that by improving the fabric of our schools we will ensure that pupils throughout North Yorkshire will be able to enjoy high quality learning environments.
The county council has worked with its property consultants, Jacobs, to identify priority works across the county and to ensure that all works have been delivered safely and with minimal disruption, mostly during school holidays.
Cllr Barker added:
Carrying out maintenance work within schools can be difficult as it requires a significant effort from all concerned within a concentrated amount of time. I would like to thank all of the contractors involved in the successful delivery of the programme of work this year as well as headteachers and staff, pupils and their families, for their cooperation and patience throughout the works.
Linda Holden, director of college operations at George Pindar School, Scarborough said:
Our school has worked closely with the county council to plan for a major programme which included a large amount of window replacement. All of the work has had a positive impact upon our school environment, helping to encourage students to achieve greater things within their learning.
Scot McFarlane, headteacher at Stokesley Community Primary School, which has benefited from the replacement of a large flat roof and of heating mains within the central school building said:
In recent years we have suffered a large amount of disruption during periods of heavy rain when water has leaked through the roof into a number of classrooms. The pupils at the school are looking forward to a far drier winter within the school”.
Debra Vines, finance manager at Tadcaster Grammar School, said that works to renew windows and roofing at her school had also been well received:
Students and staff are now able to study without the fear of the roof or windows leaking.
Martyn Hannan, acting headteacher at Barlby High School explained that the replacement of windows meant pupils would now stay warm and dry.
Martyn Hannan said:
Students are pleased to know that their school environment is valued by everyone and that it has received this level of investment.
The programme has also involved emergency works including the replacement of ceilings to four classrooms at Water Street community primary school, Skipton due to structural failure. All four classrooms had to be cleared and could not be used again until after the completion of works. As a result two classes were taught elsewhere within the school and around 60 children were transported daily to Ings Community Primary School in Skipton.
Stuart Anslow, Water Street’s headteacher said:
Although there have been difficulties the children have enjoyed the experience of working with a different school and real positives have come from it. We have also benefited from the works to our school and the four newly re-furbished classrooms. I would like to thank all of those involved in the delivery of this project, and especially the pupils for the resilience that they have shown.
The Council is now working with Jacobs to identify priorities for inclusion in a programme of works to be delivered during 2013-14. This will be finalised once the Council receives notification of its capital allocation from the Government, expected to be in December 2012.