2 year Delay in Harris Academy Rebuild - Labour Offers Support to Speed Up Process

Commenting on the delayed time-scale for rebuilding Harris Academy in Dundee, three years later than forecast, as a result of the Scottish government direction that this contract is put through the East Central Territory Hub for procurement of schools and hospitals.

Seven months after the then Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning in the Scottish Government announced, that Harris Academy is to receive Government funding for it major refurbishment, I am concerned that we are now no closer to starting work on this major building contract in the city. The Chief Executive, David Dorward, yesterday clarified for me that the new organisation for procuring schools and hospitals will not be set up and ready to progress this contract until mid to late 2012.

I would envisage that for the Company to be in a legal status that it could procure construction contracts may be during mid to late 2012.”

This means that work is unlikely to start on site at Harris Academy until financial year 2012/13 with a finish unlikely before early 2014. This delay will be disappointing news for parents, carers and teachers at Harris Academy and for the building industry in Dundee. Education Convener in the city. Elizabeth Fordyce, should be confident of my support for any reasonable way of speeding up the rebuilding of Harris Academy. I know that the council's financial contribution to the rebuilding works is already committed in its capital plan, so I hope she can find some way of bypassing this procedure that the SNP government in Holyrood has introduced.

Jim McGovern Labour's candidate for re-election in the Dundee West parliamentary constituency said:
I know how many parents have been looking forward to the rebuilding of Harris Academy. This would mean that the school's facilities would match its proud history and reputation as one of the leading schools in Dundee. I also know we need more construction opportunities in the city. I would be delighted to provide my support to any efforts to make an earlier start to rebuilding works to make Harris Academy's facilities fit for 21st century teaching and learning.”