Council pledges an additional £8.3m to a high school project

Officers had recommended not increasing the budget for Perth High School at this stage due to the 'volatility of the market'.

Council pledges an additional £8.3m to a high school project LDRS

Perth and Kinross Council has pledged an additional £8.3m for the replacement Perth High School project as building costs escalate.

At a meeting to update PKC’s capital budget officers recommended putting the project on hold to prioritise more “immediate pressures”.

But councillors voted against the recommendation when they met last Wednesday as part of a wider budget motion.

The capital budget report presented to councillors written by PKC’s chief accountant reported “significant inflationary pressures on the construction

Councillors were told of “significant uncertainty over tender prices” for projects such as Perth High School and Blairgowrie Recreation Centre not yet at the stage of being put out to tender.

Updated projections estimated the cost of the Perth High School project increasing from the budgeted £50m to £58.3m.

Officers recommended not increasing the budget for Perth High School at this stage due to the volatility of the market and instead reassessing when PKC sets its 2022/23 budget in February/March 2022.

But the Conservative administration moved to allocate an additional £8.3m to demonstrate its commitment to the project.

Moving the Perth High proposal as part of the Conservative’s wider budget motion, council leader Murray Lyle said: “As an administration we are committed to investing in children and young people across Perth and Kinross and ensuring they have the very best learning environments.

“Bertha Park High School has been successfully completed as the first brand new secondary school in Scotland and our administration has now committed funding to move on to replacing Perth High School as the next step in investing in our secondary school estate.

“The new Perth High School will be built to Passivhaus standards and ensure a
school building which is state of the art in terms of energy efficiency and its
environmental impact. I am delighted that by making a commitment to Passivhaus design we were able to attract Scottish Government investment funding.

“We are determined to play our part in ensuring we demonstrate practical
commitment to the challenges of climate change and it is right and proper that we demonstrate that commitment to our young people in ensuring that their learning environments are constructed to the highest possible environmental standards which our commitment of a further £8.3m will achieve.”

The motion was approved.

By local democracy reporter Kathryn Anderson