Portakabins brought in after 'crumbling concrete' found in school

Pupils will be taught in temporary classrooms after Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) was discovered.

Portakabins brought in after RAAC ‘crumbling concrete’ found in Preston Lodge High School LDRS

Temporary classrooms are being set up in a school car park ahead of pupils returning after concern over the discovery of ‘crumbling’ concrete used in the original building.

Preston Lodge High School, Prestonpans, East Lothian, has been identified as being built using a lightweight concrete which has sparked alarm nationally.

Now education chiefs have revealed plans to bring in six Portakabins to provide lessons in a planning application lodged with the local council.

Schools return next week in East Lothian but Preston Lodge has had to close 23 of its 71 classrooms while work to make them safe is carried out.

S1 pupils due to start at the school when it returns have already been told they will remain in their current primary school classes at their old schools although following a new timetable.

Older pupils will use the Portakabins which are being installed in the main car park for lessons.

The retrospective planning application, lodged with planners, says the temporary units will be in place for up to six months to help provide alternative classrooms to make up for those out of action.

It adds: “The six month period is the duration that has been established by the contractor who is currently designing the necessary repair work to make the existing classrooms available again.”

Preston Lodge High School has been identified as having been built using Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).

The lightweight concrete material which was used in construction between the 1950s and 1980s has been identified as a concern by Government because it can crack and crumble.

A review of East Lothian Council buildings identified the material at the school and at its Brunton Theatre, in Musselburgh, which has had to close to performances.

The council is carrying out engineering work to establish the best options to tackle the problem with costs unknown at this stage.

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