A special council meeting has been organised to debate the future of a secondary school project in Moray which has spiralling costs.
Current estimates place the Lossiemouth High School development at up to £10million over the £36million budget.
Yesterday councillors met to debate an update to the build as part of a wider performance report by the education department.
However, they were urged to “hold off” on questions about the Lossiemouth build until next week when “updated information” would be presented.
During talks at the children’s and young people’s committee, senior management explained progress with the project was currently “moving daily”.
Classes were initially expected to start in the new buildings in spring 2020 but complications found with the site under the ground have led to concerns it could be delayed.
Meanwhile, education officers are now “optimistic” that construction could begin in the coming months on Linkwood Primary School in the south of Elgin.
Education and social care director, Laurence Findlay, explained Springfield Properties expected to begin work preparing the site next month, which would allow the council’s contractors to move in during June.
Fears had been raised that delays getting access to the land could result in the move to the new school being delayed.
Elgin City North councillor Frank Brown asked for an assurance that the timeframe would allow the school to be delivered within the revised £12.3million budget – which was increased from £11.5million due to changes to the design and layout.
He said: “So in essence does that mean that if the suggested dates transpire then we will be sitting inside the budget, and if not, then what’s the number likely to be?”
Head of lifelong learning, culture and sport, Graham Jarvis, explained that officers would continue to “challenge” the expected cost to save as much money as possible.
He said: “This is the time we sit round the table and look at a whole number of options to try and bring that number down.
“We would hope to stay within £12.3million at this stage and continue to challenge it with a view to try and reduce it. Even a few thousand pounds here and there, which doesn’t sound like a lot against the total, can mount up.”