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Row over £100 million cost for four new city schools

City Coucillor Alex Nicol outside Marischal College.
City Coucillor Alex Nicol outside Marischal College.

Plans for four new multi-million pound Aberdeen primary schools have been progressed.

The city council’s capital committee heard yesterday that Milltimber is scheduled for completion in Summer 2021, Countesswells and Torry towards the end of 2021 and Tillydrone in Summer 2022 with council bosses estimating a total cost of £100 million.

But a row broke out yesterday after the opposition SNP group accused the ruling Conservative, Aberdeen Labour and independent administration of “fudging the figures”.

Following questions yesterday, officials said initial estimates had been for each school to cost between £16 million and £17 million.

However they said these figures were “a couple of years old” and that full costs could not be known until tendering and design work had been completed.

SNP capital spokesman Alex Nicoll said: “We stated previously that these four schools should be costing nowhere near £100 million and have today been proved absolutely correct.

“The reality is that the administration appear to be fudging their figures and over-estimating costs to try and not be accused of projects running over-budget – something they have done on all too many occasions.

Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden said: “We are making a huge investment in our school estate as we recognise that our children need the best facilities and environment for learning.

“This is the SNP again trying to play games.

“We know that when the tender and process have been completed the costs will be more clear. They are trying to undermine our officers and it’s disgraceful.”

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