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17 Wrexham primary school buildings in ‘poor’ condition

07 Feb 2022 3 minutes Read
School sign. Picture by Oli2020

Liam Randall, local democracy reporter

A new report has revealed that just under 30 per cent of primary school buildings in Wrexham are in a “poor” condition.

Major defects have been identified in 17 primaries out of a total of 59 in the county borough, according to data compiled by Wrexham Council.

It compares to eight schools which have been rated as being in a “good” state and 34 which are said to be “satisfactory”.

The information was detailed in a report on the local authority’s latest plans to improve school buildings as part of an overall funding package worth £88.7m.

Cllr Phil Wynn, the council’s lead member for education, said schools identified as being in a poor condition would require significant work.

In the report, he said: “The council’s assets team conduct an annual audit of the condition of our buildings.

“The main factors to be considered are the structural integrity of major components such as roofing and superstructures, the age and efficiency of ventilation and heating systems, the condition and efficiency of electrical and lighting installations and the general decorative condition.

“Schools currently in a category C (poor) condition building would require extensive refurbishment to improve the category of the building.

“This is not achievable by quick fix solutions such as upgrading a boiler system or replacing windows.

“It would require individual assessment and major capital works.”

‘Significant challenge’

The report shows all of the nine secondary schools in the area have been assessed as being in a “satisfactory” state.

Approximately £22.3m was previously spent on improving school buildings in Wrexham during the first round of funding provided via the Welsh Government’s 21st century schools programme.

The second lot of schemes are now under way with work currently being carried out to redevelop Borras Park Community Primary School and create a new Welsh medium school next door.

Cllr Wynn said some schemes had been held up by the Covid-19 pandemic, but investment was continuing.

He said: “During the last six months, Covid has continued to provide a significant challenge to all aspects of work related to the delivery of significant projects, however, there has been progress to report.

“Following the amalgamation of Borras Park infants and junior schools in 2016, which established Borras Park Community Primary school, this project involves extending and extensively remodelling the junior site, in order to accommodate the pupils on a single site.

“This project has moved on considerably since the previous report and is now scheduled for completion in July 2022.

“The other scheme involves extending and extensively remodelling the previous Borras infants site in order to accommodate a new Welsh medium school with a capacity of 210 and a 30-place nursery.

“The project has seen some delays due to planning applications being deferred and is now expected to be complete by November 2022.”

Scrutiny

Contractors are also due to begin remodelling the Ysgol y Hafod school site in Johnstown in the spring.

The report outlines two further projects worth more than £7m each to improve facilities at St. Mary’s Primary School in Brymbo and St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in the town centre.

Work on the two sites is expected to be completed by January 2024 and March 2026 respectively.

The report on school regeneration schemes will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s lifelong learning scrutiny committee on Thursday (February 10, 2022).


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