Long-awaited improvements to “shocking” facilities at a north-east school will be carried out this summer, it has been confirmed.
Parents previously criticised the dilapidated condition of Aberdeen Grammar School’s changing rooms.
Now, the extent of a promised overhaul have been revealed with the city council putting plans for £650,000 improvements to swimming pool changing rooms, toilets and the school kitchen out to tender.
Preparatory work is expected to begin in June – and will include removing potentially deadly asbestos from the school kitchen.
A report commissioned by the council, in advance of the work, said there was “a very low” risk of exposure during normal operations of the building.
But a specialist firm is being brought in to remove it.
Photos published by The P&J last year showed the school’s ageing changing facilities, with chipped paintwork and no doors or curtains on cubicles.
It led to accusations that the council was failing to protect pupils’ privacy.
Previously, a parent told this newspaper: “How can our kids be proud of their school when it’s been left to deteriorate to this state – with paint peeling off the walls, only a handful of cubicles with some form of curtain and no power points or hairdryers.
“It is a real shame that children, especially girls, have to use these changing cubicles, which offer so little privacy.”
The administration’s education spokesman John Wheeler said those comments had expedited work to improve the school.
“This would not be the only school where we have pushed forward work on the back of concerns from parents,” he said.
“These works are part of our conditioning and suitability programme.
“I am sure parents, pupils and staff will be pleased to see the work going ahead.
“We have an ageing school estate, but we have made significant investment in a number of schools. The council has finite resources, so we have to do this gradually.”
All work, including any required snagging, is expected to be completed by the middle of September.
But last night Lib Dem education spokesman on the council, Martin Greig, hit out at the school being allowed to crumble into its current state.
The Hazlehead, Queen’s Cross and Countesswells councillor said: “This is long overdue and it is good there is finally action to maintain and improve the school in the interests of the pupils.
“It’s shocking it got into the state it is in and it appears schools like Aberdeen Grammar depend on random decision-making rather than a carefully thought through framework of maintenance and upgrade.”