New £17 million special needs school on the way to Grangemouth despite cost increase

Baillie Joan Paterson
Baillie Joan Paterson

A brand new purpose-built school for assisted support need pupils moved closer to construction despite a cost hike of up to £1.1 million.

At a meeting of Falkirk Council yesterday (Wednesday) members agreed to move to the next stage of the development for the new school, which is to be built in the grounds of Moray Primary School, off Oxgang Road, in Grangemouth.

The new premises, scheduled to open in August 2017, is seen as the replacement to the existing Carrongrange School in Stenhousemuir.

Back in 2013 the council successfully gained Scottish Government funding to help it pay for the project. It was agreed at the time the council would pay half the cost – £7.67 million – and the Scottish Government would meet the rest.

However, on Wednesday members heard the latest report from project developers Hub East Central Scotland (Hubco) had revised the costs so the council would now have to pay a maximum cost of £8.78 million.

Baillie Joan Paterson, pictured above, said: “The investment is very welcome in Grangemouth and it’s the needs of the pupils that are important here.”

The next stage of development will see the preparation of detailed designs, work on gaining necessary planning consents, appointment of contractors and preparation of legal and commercial contracts.

Councillor Robert Spears said he hoped there would be integration between Moray and the new school and stated parents of Moray and Carrongrange pupils did not want a wall built around the premises which could leave children feeling isolated.

He said: “By building walls around them, you will segregate them.”

Members agreed to pay the £78,501 cost of the Hubco report and allow the project to move onto stage two, which carries an estimated cost of £643,000. Both the stage one and stage two costs are incorporated within the council’s agreed Capital Budget for 2015 to 2018.