Councillors agree to commit to proceed with £80.2m school project

Costs have escalated from a previously approved budget of £68.7m to £80.2m.

Councillors agree to commit to proceed with £80.2m Perth High School project LDRS

Councillors unanimously agreed to proceed with the Passivhaus project to rebuild Perth High School on Wednesday.

Costs have escalated from a previously approved budget of £68.7m to £80.2m – half of which will be met by the Scottish Government’s Learning Estate Investment Programme.

Moving to press ahead with the project, learning and families committee convener John Rebbeck said Perth High School was a “priority” for the SNP group.

Councillors – meeting for the last time this year on Wednesday, December 21 – faced a difficult choice over whether or not to pause the project.

PKC faces a funding gap of over £28m over the next three years, but there was a fear delaying the project could result in the cost of building a much-needed new school rising further. Officers recommended councillors proceed with the project.

The current Oakbank Road building is over 50 years old and has been used beyond its design life. 

It has been rated “C” or “poor” for suitability. Over the last five years the school has made 284 calls to PKC’s property help desk to report breakdowns and repair works.

Perth High School – as PKC’s largest school – has a roll of around 1,600 pupils and employs 139 members of staff.

Moving to proceed with the rebuild SNP councillor John Rebbeck said: “I am pleased to move this paper. Perth High School has been a priority for the SNP Group and will provide a state-of-the-art learning environment to the largest cohort of pupils and staff in Perth and Kinross.

“The new building designed to Passivhaus standards will not only achieve energy efficiency but will attract £40.6m of Scottish Government funding.

“I am also delighted to confirm that a space within the new Perth High School will be named in honour of the late Education and Children’s Services convener Bob Band.”

Seconding the motion council leader Grant Laing said: “I’m very happy to enable our officers to move forward with this exciting project for the people of Perth.”

Having been given councillors’ blessing to press ahead, officers will this week issue letters of intent and seek to draw the project to a financial close

At Wednesday’s meeting PKC’s head of property services Stephen Crawford told councillors: “Agreement of the overall budget today and issuing a letter of intent secures a number of the large sub-contract packages at pre-turn-of-the-year prices where there were expected inflationary increases. It’s why we are bringing it to council today to get that letter of intent placed tomorrow.”

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