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Problems at new Elgin primary school likely to take ‘weeks’ to resolve

Sonya Warren, chairwoman of Moray Council's children and young people's committee, at Linkwood Primary School in Elgin.
Sonya Warren, chairwoman of Moray Council's children and young people's committee, at Linkwood Primary School in Elgin.

Senior Moray Council officials have warned it is likely to take “weeks” to fix issues discovered at a new school just days before it was due to open.

Linkwood Primary in Elgin was due to welcome pupils to its permanent home today  after spending several years in temporary accommodation.

However, last week it was announced “snagging issues” had forced the date to be pushed back despite children already making party hats to celebrate the move.

Now it has been confirmed the council is investigating a potential compensation claim for the late change of plans.

Nearly 500 pupils will be able to attend Linkwood Primary School in the south of Elgin

Sonya Warren, chairwoman of the authority’s children and young people’s committee, said she was “astounded” the risk of delay was not highlighted sooner.

She said: “I find it really galling and worrying, especially when we have Lossiemouth High School being built at the same time too.

“The safety of children, staff and parents is the paramount concern though and the right certification needs to be in place before a building is handed over.”

Forres councillor George Alexander said: “I’m not at all happy with how this delay has come about, Hub North Scotland must have known about this long before the scheduled opening.”

Linkwood Primary was originally due to welcome pupils to its permanent home in summer 2018 before a series of issues forced it to be pushed back.

Moray MacLeod, the council’s acting head of property, told yesterday’s meeting of the authority’s education, communities and organisations development committee that staff from Scottish Water are due at Linkwood Primary today to do work at the school – but warned it was likely to be “weeks not days” before the problem was resolved.

Move to new Elgin primary school delayed due to ‘some snagging issues’

He added that construction on the new Lossiemouth High School remained on track to be complete for the new expected opening date after the Easter holidays.

The coronavirus pandemic forced progress on both projects to be suspended earlier this year.

Mr MacLeod added: “We have asked for a comparison of compensation claims from other similar projects.”

A Hub North Scotland spokesman said: “We have identified a potential issue with the water supply to the new facility and are working with Moray Council and our delivery partners to take all necessary measures to ensure it meets the required standards.”

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