We have received the following statement from the County Council about Windmill School.
Can the County give an assurance that the new classrooms will be completed by the start of the next school year?
The Project has now received Full Business Case approval and contracts have been signed for delivery (4 classrooms). The Contractors are now mobilising to get to site, ordering materials etc and will be establishing a secure compound to begin works in line with the agreed programme. While no absolutes can be guaranteed with the delivery timescales of any project in any industry, the commitment has been made to deliver the classrooms as required for the school to occupy in time for the start of the autumn 2015 Term. This is a fixed price project which will penalise the contractor for late delivery providing incentives for delivery.
If not, what is Plan B? Will the work be postponed until the summer holidays of 2016?
The works will be delivered over the coming months with a target for completion in August. Should for any unforeseen reason the project timescales stretch beyond this, then the contractor is contractually bound to provide an alternative teaching space for the additional class, which the school will be providing next year, (the full project provides further classrooms for future years additional intake).
What measures are in place to ensure that the build will be to an appropriately high standard?
The Project is being built to Oxfordshire’s New School Building specification and works are independently verified.
Is there a communications strategy in place to keep the head teacher, governors, children and parents updated of progress throughout?
Regular formal monthly progress meetings are being scheduled with the school to ensure that progress is monitored and any issues, risks or opportunities are discussed and resolved. In addition to this a weekly meeting will be scheduled with the school to discuss ‘works for the week’ to ensure the school know of the works which are being carried out, through this meeting local level decisions can be made to re-sequence works should there be any potential clashes with school operations (e.g. ensuring no continued noisy activity during a scheduled exam). The project team would be happy to work with the school to develop appropriate communications to the schools wider stakeholders and community.
What were the reasons for the delays in producing a detailed plan?
The Project was developed with the school over a period of time consistent with OCC policy and procedures, to ensure good governance, robustness of design and adequate time for planning and included early works to provide classrooms for earlier additional pupil intakes. The sign off of the final plan referred to below was the culmination of this as a formality for contract award documentation and Oxfordshire County Council Corporate Governance requirements