Moray Council has revealed it is facing a “substantial” compensation claim due to delays in building the new Lossiemouth High School.
Construction on the new £42million complex was halted last year at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Now it has emerged that contractor Balfour Beatty is entitled to claim back any extra costs they incurred as a result of the stoppage.
Negotiations between the firm, Moray Council and Hub North Scotland are expected to continue for up to two months with the potential costs of the Lossiemouth High School compensation claim remaining “commercially sensitive” until an agreement.
Elgin City North councillor Frank Brown said: “The contractor would have been entitled to claim government grants during the shutdown with staff able to be put on furlough.
“I would hope that would all be taken into account when calculating any additional sums they might be due.”
Moray MacLeod, the council’s acting head of housing and property, said: “There is a lot of work going on in the background about what the contractor can claim back, which ranges from staff costs to additional Covid precautions they have needed to take.
“Claims start much larger and then you go through it in more detail and reduce it to a fair figure.”
Construction on the new secondary school is expected to be completed at the end of next week.
The first classes are now expected to be held there after the Easter holidays after being delayed from summer last year due to the pandemic.