Aberdeenshire councillors have been stunned after the local authority’s infrastructure service confirmed it could not guarantee repairs to a secondary school would make the building “fit for purpose”.
And there has been anger at the news that pupils at Peterhead Academy are having to wear their coats in class.
Tom Buchan, Aberdeenshire Council’s facilities manager, told Peterhead councillors that upgrades to the town’s secondary school – which needs new windows – were being held off on until a timeline could be secured for a new academy in the port.
In the meantime, teachers and pupils who use the school, off Prince Street, are being forced to keep their coats on during lessons.
Mr Buchan has said that “essential” work would be carried out as quickly as possible.
However, he added: “I can’t guarantee they (the school classrooms) will be made fit for purpose. The critical issues will be looked at.”
The project to replace the windows will cost Aberdeenshire Council £110,000.
Stuart Pratt, chairman of the Buchan area committee, branded the delay as unacceptable.
He said: “I don’t think it’s acceptable that kids have to sit with their coats on. Proper maintenance has to be done and done now”.
Councillor Alan Smith added that it was going be a “few years” before a replacement school was built and that the windows should be repaired as a matter of priority.
He said: “We are going to be spending that money anyway.”
Mr Buchan will report back to the councillors in June with the authority’s plans for the school.
The facilities manager had initially suggested that the council would outline work for improving classroom conditions in September.
But he was told by Mr Pratt that leaving the paper until closer to winter would be dangerous.