Staff and pupils could move into the new £48.5million Wick Community Campus by Christmas, according to a local councillor.
The project was scheduled to open after the October holidays – it was initially earmarked for completion in 2014 – but fresh delays rendered it unlikely to open until next year.
However, following a recent stakeholder meeting, Wick councillor Bill Fernie believes that a new target handover date of December 2 means everyone could be in the building before Christmas.
But Wick High School parent council chairman, Iain Baikie, said the opening date of the new campus was “not made 100% clear”, as stakeholders were informed of a series of dates spanning three months.
Professor Baikie also said that concerned parents attending on Monday were left in disbelief after being told that the reason for the delays was down to “electricity, water and commercially sensitive issues”.
Both the Wick Campus and recently afflicted Inverness Royal Academy projects have been managed by Hub North Scotland Limited and Morrison Construction.
Mr Fernie said: “I think we got fairly frank statements from Hub North and the construction company Morrisons. One or two parents maybe thought they were being evasive but they were up front that the delay was down to supply chain problems, but they would not elaborate because of commercial sensitivities.
“I think they would think long and hard about setting a target date of December 2, and would not say it if they could not make it. I think the staff and pupils will get in before Christmas”.
Prof Baikie said: “With the problem of the burst hot water pipe at Noss Primary and the significant teething problems at Inverness Royal Academy announced this week, coupled with parental concern for a safe environment for our children we have to be resolute that it is probably better to wait and get the job done properly”.