Same Edinburgh schools defects found in Miller-built Glasgow school in 2012

Lourdes Primary
Lourdes Primary

Miller Construction, the firm at the centre of the Edinburgh schools crisis, was responsible for the closure of a school in Glasgow with the same structural problem four years ago, it emerged yesterday.

In Edinburgh, 10 primaries, five secondaries and two additional support needs schools have been shut over safety concerns.

All of the schools, which are about 10 years old, were constructed under the same public private partnership (PPP) contract.

The fault found at Lourdes Primary in 2012 has been revealed to be the same as the fault discovered last week at schools in Edinburgh, with Miller Construction involved in both cases. Lourdes Primary was not built under PPP.

Engineers found header ties missing, the structures used to fix the top of a wall to the rest of the building.

The issue led to the temporary closure of Lourdes Primary, with pupils having to be moved to other schools.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said the issue over the building defects in Lourdes Primary School that came to light in November 2012 was handled quickly and effectively, with Miller Construction accepting all responsibility.

In a letter to parents at the time, the firm blamed poor workmanship and admitted header ties were missing from the brick walls.

The spokeswoman added: “They paid all costs relating to the works and decant costs. The council then ordered structural surveys on all Glasgow schools Miller Construction built and all came back clear.

“These are the same schools that have been inspected again recently and we have no cause for concern but for further reassurance, our PPP contractor 3Ed, will be inspecting them again this week.

“Our schools will be open as normal on Monday, 18 April, following the spring break.”

Meanwhile Robert Gordon University (RGU) has revealed it is inspecting construction work at its £120 million Aberdeen campus, which was partly built by Miller Construction, amid safety concerns over Edinburgh schools.

The “precautionary measure” at the campus in Garthdee comes as NHS Grampian and NHS Highland are seeking assurances over buildings also built by the firm.

A spokeswoman for RGU told STV: “The construction technique used by Miller Construction in the university’s new campus building was quite different from the technique used in the Edinburgh schools.

“While we don’t anticipate any issues we will be undertaking a check as a precautionary measure.”

The £15m Aberdeen Health and Social Care Village and the Woodside, Forres and Tain health centres, which cost a total of around £30m, were all built by Miller Construction in the last five years.

A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian said: “A small number of health centres commissioned by NHS Grampian through the hub Initiative were constructed by Miller Construction.

“Whilst health centres are of a different design to schools, and there is a considerable time lapse, as a precautionary measure NHS Grampian have asked Hub North Scotland to provide assurances that defects of a similar nature to those found in the school buildings are not inherent within any of the health centre designs.”

An NHS Highland spokesman added: “Miller Construction were the tier one contractor for Tain Health Centre along with Forres Woodside and Aberdeen Health Village in a Hub North Scotland initiative.

“NHS Highland is seeking assurances that Tain Health Centre is not affected by similar concerns to those raised by Edinburgh schools.

“While NHS Highland recognises that Tain Health Centre is of a different design to schools, we have asked for assurances that similar defects were not inherent in any of the designs.”

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