Snagging works continue at delayed Wick Campus

Wick Community Campus (pic from Ryder Architecture)
Wick Community Campus (pic from Ryder Architecture)

Snagging works are continuing at the much-delayed Wick Campus project in the Highlands.

The £48.5 million development, which includes a new High School, Newton Park Primary School, and community facilities, was originally set for completion in 2014.

However, the project has been plagued by number of issues and delays. Despite pupils finally moving into the facility at the end of April, concerns have been raised over the facility’s design and construction.

In a letter to the Wick Stakeholder Group, Wick High School Parent Council and Newton Park Primary School Parent Council, the Highland Council stated: “As stakeholders will be aware, the council deferred the opening date of the new Campus to ensure there was sufficient time for the council to commission the various systems within the building, undertaken checks and inspections, and ensure that the building was operationally safe and ready before opening.

“The Campus has been handed over to the council by hub North Scotland and Morrison Construction, following a very thorough and robust inspection and certification regime throughout the construction period. Part of that process includes expert assessment, independent of the council and hub/Morrison.”

In the letter, the council outlined a description of the process leading to facility handover:

  • Highland Council had its own Clerk of Works regularly on site during construction to review and monitor quality of work, and health and safety
  • Morrison Construction undertook their own quality, health, safety and environmental reviews
  • Regular monthly project review meetings took place on-site, including Highland Council, hub and Morrison’s staff
  • An independent structural engineer’s assessment was commissioned by Highland Council
  • Additional site visits and inspections by council engineering staff have taken place in relation to mechanical and electrical systems pre and post-handover
  • An independent assessment and certification of the facility was a formal part of the facility handover process
  • A statutory inspection of the works by Building Control to ensure the building is safe for occupation in line with the Scottish Building Technical Standards
  • Identification of building snagging matters is undertaken by Hub, Morrison’s and Highland Council staff, and all logged within a common system
  • The Highland Council has review and sign-off of all snagging works prior to closure of such items as complete
  • Highland Council officers were on site to witness commissioning and testing of mechanical and electrical systems prior to opening of the facility

The council added the discovery of a ‘deflected’ steel beam saw the local authority commission its own independent engineer’s assessment to provide assurance and the beam was subsequently replaced. In addition, the engineer’s provided assurance over a ‘cracked’ concrete staircase on the campus, as well as scaffolding which was photographed underneath the stairs.

The local authority added: “As a result of the recent Sauna fire, the council and Facilities Management provider moved quickly to address the immediate damage and in liaison with High Life Highland bring leisure facilities back into safe use at the earliest opportunity. It has been agreed that an independent investigation will be undertaken to understand the cause of the fire.

“We trust that this letter provides assurance regarding the safety of the Campus facility, and provides some clarity around matters reported within the media.”

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