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Unreliable concrete at Charleston Academy in Inverness and Nairn Academy to cost Highland Council 'at least £500,000'

By Scott Maclennan

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Highland Council spends £500,000 on making Nairn and Charleston Academies safe.
Highland Council spends £500,000 on making Nairn and Charleston Academies safe.

The work to make safe two major Highland schools due to unreliable concrete is estimated to cost "at least £500,000".

In what is a national issue, hundreds of schools, NHS and other buildings have been deemed at risk due to Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).

RAAC has been found in Inverness's Charleston Academy and Nairn Academy.

The costs have spiralled as some work had to be undertaken immediately for "high risk" sections while "medium risk" will be completed in the next year.

A report to the housing and property committee states: "The update provided to the meeting of this committee in August advised that all remedial works to building areas that were categorised as high risk (i.e., were to be completed immediately and prior to being reoccupied) were either completed by the start of the new school session or the areas made secure so that they were not accessible.

"Remedial works to areas that were categorised as medium risk (i.e., to be completed within the next year) have been progressed during term time and will continue until at least the end of this year.

"Some works have had to be carried outside school hours, at weekends or during holiday periods to minimise disruption.

"The total cost of the project, comprising specialist structural engineering surveys, remedial works and other associated costs, is estimated as being at least £500,000 at this stage and is being funded from the structure and fabric budget heading in the capital programme."

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