Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
I. Authorise the allocation of £5,049,000 from the Children’s, Young People and Education Modernisation and Planned Maintenance Budgets
II. Authorise the Director of Infrastructure in consultation with the Director of Education to enter into any necessary contracts / agreements on behalf of the County Council.
Reason for Decision
Kent County Council (KCC), as the Local Authority, is responsible for the maintenance of Community and Voluntary Controlled school buildings in Kent. This responsibility is taken seriously, with continuous maintenance and modernisation programmes in place to ensure that the school estate is fit for purpose. Included within these programmes are routine building checks that identify possible future maintenance issues with accommodation.
Following the condition surveys and subsequent referrals, the schools below have been identified as having areas of their building requiring urgent replacement due to deterioration and end of economic life.
Leeds and Broomfield Primary School
Leeds and Broomfield CE Primary School is a 0.75FE school within the village of Leeds, Maidstone. The main school building was built over 100 years ago and needs modernising, the main concerns being the lack of toilets for the number of children / staff and the dilapidated two classroom mobile block at the rear of the school.A dilapidation survey of the mobile block was carried on 27th January 2021 which highlighted the extremely poor conditions of the existing mobiles with issues including but not limited to the poor condition both internally and externally, poor / incorrect foundations, roofing issues, mould and mildew and outdated heating. As the existing school WC provision does not meet the guideline ratio for a school of this size, the Stage 2 proposal allows for the inclusion of additional WCs to address the shortfall.The building does not meet modern standards and is undersized in accordance with current BB103 school area guidelines. The proposals confirm that a modular solution can be provided in place of the existing mobiles.
Lydden Primary School
New School Hall. Lydden Community Primary School is a small primary school in Dover District with a PAN of 12. The building is damp, mouldy, and decaying.
There are breaches to the floor and wall junction allowing insect, rodent and vegetation to enter the building. There is evidence of dry rot. The roof covering of single ply felt, showed poor workmanship and open laps, allowing water ingress. The building had no insulation.
The building is at the end of its life span and even with significant remedial works the usable life of the building is limited. The school hall is also under size.
The building has had several repairs over time but is in a deteriorating condition and, even with significant remedial works, the life span is limited. The building does not meet modern standards and is undersized in accordance with current BB103 school area guidelines.
The proposed design has received planning approval (KCC/DO/0117/2021) and provides a fit for purpose building which meets BB103 and the schools’ specific requirements. It includes a hall, servery, plant room and ancillary spaces. The new building will be linked to the main school via corridor which includes an external entrance, small office, and accessible WC, to supplement the schools existing space and allow for more flexible use of the hall for school and community events. The proposal incorporates a small car park to alleviate on street parking. This will be constructed over the base formed by the contractor’s compound and access route as a large portion of the work will already be complete.
Lydden is part of the Whitfield and Dover North planning group, where significant growth is expected due to the Whitfield Urban Expansion (5,750 new homes). The addition of an appropriately sized school hall, the accessible toilet and additional office could support a small expansion of the school in the future
BidboroughCoE Primary School
Replacement modular unit – 2 classrooms. Current block placed on site in 1992 but wasn’t new when installed. Construction wooden tongue and groove cladding with felt roof doesn’t meet today’s insulation requirements. Remedial works carried out August ’21, no option for further repair has been recommended. Structural survey found significant wet rot and recommended full replacement. This is likely to require a bespoke solution rather than a built off site standard unit due to location (narrow village access lanes with school situated on steep hill. The current block is enclosed on 3 sides by other buildings and there is no option for relocation due to the confined site).
Herne Infants School –
Roof overlay project - built circa 2000 the roof has had issues for over 5 years and leaks are now widespread and worsening. Leaks are causing disruption to school and damaging internal fabric of the building. Countless remedial repairs have been carried out including application of liquid waterproofing to joints and sealing rooflights, but no repair has been successful and a full roof overlay system is now recommended in order to keep school operational and prevent damage to roof structure.
Option 1 – Do nothing
This would result in partial school closure due to the areas identified within each school not meeting the safe, warm and dry criteria and/or the need to bring in costly temporary accommodation.
Option 2 – Localised Repairs
Areas described are at the end of their economic life, localised repairs could be feasible however, as they may only last a short while, this option would still risk school closure. This would result in additional costs and abortive works. This would be a short-term measure and would result in option 3 proceeding in later years at higher cost.
Option 3 – Proceed with replacements
This would mitigate school closure risks and provide safe teaching environments and improvement to the fabric of the schools. This a long-term measure.
After reviewing the estimated costs, potential risk elements and the key advantages/disadvantages of each option it was agreed that the replacement schemes were the most appropriate solutions.
As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree to:
(i) authorise the allocation of £5.049m from the from the Children Young People and Education Services Capital Budget to deliver the Planned Maintenance and Modernisation schemes at; Leeds and Broomfield CoE Primary School, Lydden Primary School, Bidborough CoE Primary School and Herne Infants School
(ii) Authorise the Director of Infrastructure in consultation with the Director of Education to enter into any necessary contracts / agreements on behalf of the County Council
Publication date: 11/08/2022
Date of decision: 11/08/2022
Effective from: 19/08/2022