Cwmcarn High to remain closed until November
3:21pm Tuesday 20th August 2013 in News
CWMCARN High pupils will not be back on site now until November after the death of a contractor delayed asbestos-removal work.
They will now return to Ebbw Vale for the start of the school year while additional work takes place. The cost to Caerphilly council of this could be £300,000.
Youngsters had been set to begin the new term at Cwmcarn on September 4, but the incident that led to the death of 26-year-old James Paul means that they will not be able to return until after half term.
An inquest opening heard that Mr Paul, from Abertillery, was electrocuted, with an investigation delaying asbestos-removal work.
While contractors have said this work will now be completed by September 16, further work is needed to replace electricity cables that will take until the end of October.
Caerphilly council’s cabinet will meet on Friday when they are expected to rubber-stamp the relocation of Cwmcarn school to Ebbw Vale until November 4.
The costs of this are likely to be £98,000 for leasing the building for six months, £100,000 for two months transport to Ebbw Vale, around £70,000 replacing the electrical cabling at Cwmcarn, £20,000 for generator hire and £5,000 for an electrical inspection report.
It will also cost up to £2,000 a week for security on the Cwmcarn site whenever work is not taking place.
The local authority set aside £1,048,000 for the asbestos-removal work in April, but it is estimated this will cost £711,000.
The additional cost pressure will be met from the underspend, while around £100,000 for electrical-related work will come from capital funds.
In a joint statement, Caerphilly council and Cwmcarn called the delays “unavoidable” and said governors had agreed this was the only “viable option” for pupils to be educated from September.
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