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Proposals by PFI building contractor Carillion to demolish and rebuild South Bank Primary School on the same site were discussed with parents and carers of pupils at the school today.

Carillion suspended work on site in April following the discovery that the majority of the foundations were built on a defective fill material when the school was built in 2006 by Mowlem plc.

A structural engineer’s report, commissioned by Carillion, now proposes the rebuild and will result in pupils and staff moving back to the school in the spring of 2017, if the school, parents and council are in favour of the proposals. The cost of the rebuild will be a matter for Carillion.

Cabinet Member for Children, Cllr Craig Hannaway said: “The staff, governors and community have worked tremendously hard in their temporary accommodation to provide excellent learning opportunities that were recognised by Ofsted to be ‘good with outstanding features’, however it is important that a permanent solution be found and a new school built in South Bank at the earliest opportunity.

On behalf of myself and the Council I would like to add a particular thank-you to the Headteacher, Helen Hall, for her commitment and excellent work during very difficult circumstances.

We will now assess the proposals put forward and ensure a conclusion is reached as soon as possible in the interests of the pupils, parents and local community.” 

The Council will continue to provide the Teesville School site while this issue is being resolved and part of the proposals include improvement at the Teesville site while the work takes place.

Helen Hall, Headteacher of South Bank Primary School, said: “It is vital that the long term disruption to the school community is kept to an absolute minimum and we go back to ‘normality’ as soon as possible.  We are pleased that a long term solution is finally being consulted on and the uncertainty of the schools future can stop.  

The move to the Teesville site has not been without its issues and this was always intended as a short term answer, however the school, local authority and Carillion will work together to ensure this is a sustainable solution and that the children’s learning remains at the heart of all decisions to improve the building and educational entitlement even further.”

Chair of the Board of Governors, Karen McGarrity added: “The Board of Governors are obviously disappointed by the further delay but we are listening to all interested parties and will continue to ensure that, whatever option is selected, the education of our children remains paramount.”

Carillion Building North Director Mark Nicholson said: “Carillion is committed to providing a complete resolution to the ongoing issues at South Bank School. 

Following extensive work and testing at the school, it has been determined that the problem with the fill is much more extensive than was originally thought. Carillion believes the best way forward to provide the quickest and a permanent solution is to demolish the existing school and rebuild it.

We will now be working with the Local Authority and South Bank School to progress the plans.”

The building is owned by Modern Schools (Redcar & Cleveland Ltd) which is owned by Elgin Infrastructure Ltd.


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