Oldham school extension costs to rise by £800k

Reporter: Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter
Date published: 12 December 2019

The cost of expanding an Oldham primary school is set to rise by £800k to pay for a new sports pitch, toilets and staff car parks.

Cabinet bosses are due to green-light spending thousands more on plans to create one new form of entry at Mayfield Primary School in Derker.

The academy, which is run by the Cranmer Education Trust, currently caters for more than 240 pupils.

In April council chiefs had signed off on using £2.5m from its education pot of basic needs funding for the project to meet a growing demand for pupil places.

But at a cabinet meeting on Monday night they are recommended to increase the budget to £3.3m.

Officers say the extra cash will enable the replacement of two car parking areas which are needed for the ‘significant increase in staff numbers’.

It will also pay for a new all-weather pitch and a redesign of the nursery toilets, all of which are considered ‘necessary’ to the scheme.

The new extension has been specially designed to enhance heating performance and reduce energy usage, according to the cabinet report.

Currently the estimated cost of the build, pre-tender, stands at £3.3m and the trust have asked the council for more cash to ensure works can go ahead and the school is able to open by September 2020.

Despite the extra costs of the Mayfield extension, officers state that it is still the best option to deliver new school places in the east Oldham area.

“Mayfield has a ‘good’ Ofsted rating, is significantly higher than the other options with regard to parental choice and has the capacity to be developed to accommodate an additional form of entry,” officers state.

“Even at a greater increased cost per place than originally anticipated Mayfield overall still represents the most favourable option.”

The decision to expand Mayfield school, over other options such as Greenhill Academy, Woodlands Academy, Greenacres Academy and Mayfield Primary School, was due to a ‘number of factors’ according to the town hall.

The other schools were either too difficult to develop, too expensive to rebuild or had a poor Ofsted rating.

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