Chesptow pupils face 18 months more in temporary classrooms
TEMPORARY ACCOMMODATION: Pupils returned to Thornwell Primary School after the fire but will now have to wait untl next year until the work is complete on the replacement building
PUPILS of a Chepstow school, which was badly affected by a fire, face at least another year and a half in temporary classrooms.
The delays to the rebuilding of Thornwell Primary School will also mean taxpayers will have to contribute to the costs of approximately £10,000 per month for temporary accommodation, installed last summer.
Monmouthshire county councillors were previously told that the school, which was damaged by the fire in June 2011 would be ready by September next year, but last week councillors were told pupils will now move in six months later than planned in February 2014.
Thornwell head teacher, Linda Davies, said: “Obviously we are disappointed by the delay because the sooner the new building is built the better, but we are going to have the one we want so in that respect it is going to be worth it.”
Cabinet member for children, young people and learning, Liz Hacket Pain, came under fire at Thursday’s council meeting, from Thornwell councillor Armand Watts.
He said: “We had reassurances from Liz Hacket Pain it will be built by September 2013, not February 2014. This is another year. She has been telling us a bit of a fib here.”
Cllr Hacket Pain said there has always been “full commitment”
from the council to rebuild Thornwell’s school.
She said: “It is not fibs. We couldn’t have put it in the previous budget as the fire hadn’t taken place then. The commitment was there right from the beginning that the school will be rebuilt.”
Strategic schools review officer Derek Downer said some of the delay was caused by negotiations with insurers.
Members approved the report’s recommendation to approve a capital budget of £3.5 million to allow the works to go ahead.
The new school is expected to mirror Castle Park Primary’s 21st learning plaza, which boasts impressive eco-credentials.