North Yorkshire County Council has completed a major programme of capital investment in schools.
More than 50 schools have had building works done, much of it undertaken through the summer months, including new classrooms, replacement of old prefabricated classrooms and other improvements.
In total during 2012/13 more than £20m has been invested in North Yorkshire schools including improvements which schools themselves have planned and emergency works.
Despite big reductions in the amount of money available, the county council has continued to prioritise investment in its schools. Many schools have seen their roofs, windows and floors replaced, and others have had upgrades to heating and electrical systems.
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.
The county council must provide enough extra school places for North Yorkshire children at a time of rising pupil rolls whilst continuing to direct investment at improving the quality of existing school buildings and ensuring they remain safe, warm and weather-tight. This will make sure that pupils throughout North Yorkshire will continue to enjoy high quality learning environments.
The county council, its property partners Jacobs and a number of building contractors work closely with schools to ensure that all works are delivered safely and that the potential for disruption is minimised. Wherever possible works were undertaken during the summer holidays.
Cllr Barker added:
Delivering programmes of work of this nature within schools can be difficult as it requires a lot of 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’.
Great Ouseburn Community Primary School has benefited from a new unit to replace a portable classroom. Ivan Nicholson, deputy head of Boroughbridge High School that works in partnership with the primary school, said that the works to replace the old classroom had made a big difference to school life
Ivan Nicholson said:
The staff, parents and children are very pleased with the new classroom. It is an excellent facility and is finished to a high standard. It is warm and comfortable and provides a pleasant working environment.
A further programme of works is planned for next summer and the county council is already working to identify priorities for investment beyond April 2014 which will be finalised once the county council receives notification of its capital allocation from the Government, expected to be in December 2013.
Cllr Barker said:
Many improvement schemes have now been completed. I would like to thank headteachers, staff, parents and pupils for how they have worked with us to make sure the building schemes haven’t caused undue disruption. I wish them all well as the academic year progresses.