School closed due to safety concerns

In April 2017 we reported on the Cole Report which investigated failures during the construction of 17 schools in Edinburgh.

In the news item we wrote that the author of the report, Professor Cole, stated: “It would be naïve to assume that the lack of quality control evidenced in the construction of the walls of the Edinburgh schools is limited either to Edinburgh or to school buildings.” With this in mind, it’s not surprising to hear of another major project that has been closed due to safety concerns linked to failures during construction.

Dumfries and Galloway Council has closed North West Community College, a recently opened school built at a cost of £28M. The catalyst for the closure was an interactive whiteboard falling on a pupil causing minor injuries. This was not the first such event. In July 2018, prior to being opened, a leaking sprinkler system caused a ceiling to fall in. Then, three days after the school opened, a door came off its fixings and struck a pupil. This prompted the school to be shut for two days whilst safety checks were carried out. A week later the whiteboard incident occurred, prompting the Council to close the school.

Whilst all construction projects will have minor defects, known as snags, the best way to ensure that there aren’t more serious issues is to appoint a clerk of works to monitor the construction process and ensure that the works are to specification and follow industry standards. Aegis have clerks of works with extensive experience of construction who can provide this service and provide peace of mind to clients.