MONEY spent on the closure of Cwmcarn High School for asbestos removal and other works amounted to more than £2.15 million, a report has shown.
Caerphilly County Borough Council cabinet members met yesterday (Wed) to discuss a report detailing the total costs of work carried out at the school over the past few years.
The school was shut in October 2012 over fears its pupils were at risk after asbestos was found.
Following the closure, pupils were moved from the premises to be taught at nearby Coleg Gwent’s Ebbw Vale campus.
The school was finally re-opened to pupils back in January this year.
After the school’s closure Caerphilly council provided nearly £1 million for works to remove the asbestos.
Parents and pupils held protests and ran a petition urging the authority and the Welsh Government to secure the school’s future. Contractors began working to remove the substance, with the school initially expected to re-open in September 2013.
But the asbestos removal work was delayed following the death of 26-year-old contractor James Paul, who had been working on the site.
An inquest opening heard that Mr Paul, from Abertillery, was electrocuted, with an investigation delaying the asbestos removal.
The report presented to cabinet members showed the total cost resulting from the school’s closure amounted to £2,159,000. The initial funding agreed by Caerphilly council was £2,068,000.
The additional costs of £91,000, the report said, were largely down to the extra two-month stay at Ebbw Vale resulting from additional electrical works needed at the site following Mr Paul’s death.
The report outlined actions that should be taken “to mitigate against a similar situation arising in future”.
It said: “In future should any school, within the county borough decide not to take up a Health and Safety service level agreement with the council, arrangements will be put into place to undertake a two yearly site inspection and audit of systems and procedures at such schools. Findings will be formally reported to the head teacher, chair of governors and the director of education with any recommendations for improvement, and progress duly monitored.”