The Council has announced that it is about to decide on the appointment of architects for the Orleans Infant & Nursery School and St Stephens Junior School Expansions. Details of the proposed decisions may be viewed here and here These decisions will not be made before 10 August 2009. It is proposed to appoint DLA Architecture Ltd to do Orleans for a fee of £160,000 and Reformat LLP to do St Stephens for a fee of £450,000. The total budgets are £3.1 mn and £2.0 mn. The build costs are £2.0 mn. and £1.2 mn.
'... The design work(s) for the expansion of each school needs to commence during July 2009, if they are to be complete by July 2011 . . Completion of the building work is targeted for July in each case so as to give time for the installation of loose furniture and equipment, ICT and time for the schools to move into and occupy the new buildings in each case over the summer holiday period, ready for the start of the following term in September when the additional children are anticipated to need places at these schools. Should building works in each case not be complete, the education of those children due to attend the school concerned would be severely disrupted, and attract severe adverse publicity towards the council. Whilst these time scales initially appear generous, the time required to consult, design, obtain planning consent and prepare tender documents and then actually build these projects will mean that in reality these time scales will be challenging to achieve. Additionally these consultants should ideally be appointed before the school summer holidays commence, so they have had time to consult with the schools prior to head teachers and other stake holders becoming unavailable over the summer break. This will create the need for a timely decision-making process regarding the formal appointment of consultant architects, engineers and surveyors, which will likely fall outside of the usual cabinet approval timetable.'
– from Christopher J Squire
Thank you for taking the time to report this. Please may I correct your figures. When asked to explain the disproportionatley high figure of £450,000 for architects' fees for St Stephen's, a key Council member said this was an error and the figure is, in fact, £95,000. There is a further £228,000 allocated for fees for a quantity surveyor, building services and structural engineer. These are to be split between St Stephen's and Orleans Infants. St Stephen's will incur a VAT bill of approximately £350,000 which is non-reclaimable due to its status as a voluntary-aided Church School.
Using the figure of £95,000, the amount for building costs; furniture, fittings and equipment and school decant (movement between buildings) is £2,826,000 for Orleans Infants and £1,441,000 for St Stephen's.
The amount for Orleans Infants will enable the school to adapt its site appropriately. The amount for St Stephen's will severely limit what can be achieved, not least because the build costs per square metre will be greater due to the existing Victorian buildings and the site restrictions.
Orleans Infants can afford to build a completely new Junior block. St Stephen's will have to convert existing classrooms to accommodate the space requirements for Infants as well as adding buildings to a restricted site. St Stephen's is one of the most restricted school sites in the Borough, if not the most restricted, according to another key Council member.
There are many parents in St Margarets who are concerned about the funding levels for St Stephen's. The need to provide additional Reception class places is understood but the St Margarets community deserves to have Two Good Schools, not one which is fit for purpose and one Cinderella school compromised by inadequate funding.
Helen HendersonHelen Henderson on 2009-08-06 18:53:02 +0000
PS. The figure of £450,000 for architects's fees is in the Primary Schools Expansion Consultancy Contracts, 6 July 09 which is the one I queried. This figure is incorrect. The Cabinet Member Report St Stephen's Junior School Expansion document, 3.3, shows £95,000 for all RIBA work stages.
St Stephen's build costs are shown as £1,200,000 with the balance for VAT, legal fees, in-house costs, planning and building control costs, site investigation and survey, ICT, decanting and moving costs and 5% contingency. My figure of £1,441,000 is therefore an over-estimate which is not good news as we need every penny we can get.
Helen HendersonHelen Henderson on 2009-08-06 19:14:55 +0000
I thank HH for her correction and explanation; I noticed that the budget for the architect seemed very high but did not check it.Chris Squire on 2009-08-07 09:38:32 +0000
Update 10/08/09: these two architectural contracts have been awarded as proposed above. See tinyurl.com/l4krc9 and tinyurl.com/npntxp .Chris Squire on 2009-08-11 10:30:02 +0000
The two architectural contracts have been awarded as proposed; see tinyurl.com/npntxp and tinyurl.com/l4krc9 .Chris Squire on 2009-08-11 13:40:00 +0000