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Jan 11 2014

Marlborough School Relocation to the Civic Centre – Q&A

school_signWe asked the Council a number of questions about Marlborough School’s relocation into the Civic Centre. Here’s the responses that they sent:

  • Which part of the Civic will they be in?

Marlborough’s temporary school site will occupy two buildings on the site, Civic 3&4 and Civic 5&6. These have become vacant as staff have moved into the main civic centre building as part of general cost-saving measures. Another building, Civic 2 will be demolished, and part of its footprint will also be part on Marlborough’s temporary site. This is a solution which has always had the support of the head teacher and allows us to use surplus buildings to help a local school and save taxpayers’ money into the bargain.

  • What will this cost?

£300,000 has been budgeted for the relocation and temporary siting of Marlborough School at the Civic, while their new school is being constructed. This compares very favourably to other options considered for the school. Two alternatives were each projected to cost in the region of £1.5 million. They included a new, bespoke temporary school site; and a plan to leave the school on its current site while conducting a rolling programme of demolition and rebuilding.

  • Who funds it?

The council’s school expansion programme is expected to be funded from central government capital allocations for schools, including the Targeted Basic Need Programme, the Priority Schools Building Programme and the annual Basic Need Allocation without the need for council capital funding.

  • How do these work?

Marlborough Primary School was included in the government’s Priority School Building Programme, a national programme to address those school buildings in the worst condition. Following discussions with the Minister and officials, it was agreed that Marlborough Primary School would be brought forward in the government’s programme because of its deteriorating condition and the urgent need for additional school places in Harrow.

  • Will a play area be set up, secured and available?
  • Where will PE take place?
  • What grassed areas are available?

Yes. Secure outdoor play space will be provided inside the secure site, through the conversion of part of an existing council car park. There is also a large designated indoor play space, inside one of the civic buildings. There are additional outdoor grassed areas, with trees, surrounding the buildings, and there are plans to redesign these areas to make them safe and suitable for children to use them. Safety of pupils has always been a prime consideration in this whole process.

  • What parking facilities will be available?

There will be appropriate parking on the school forecourt. However, we do not envisage the need for extra parking as the temporary school site is within 400 yards of the current Marlborough School site. As for the Civic, while it will be losing a small number of parking spaces to the Marlborough site, it will be gaining them from the area currently occupied by the soon-to-be-demolished Civic 2.

  • What porta-cabin style buildings will be used?

There is no plan to use any temporary buildings at the site.

  • What traffic surveys and traffic impact will be carried out?

Every school is required to update and revise a School Travel Plan on a regular basis, and Marlborough’s site is no different. The Civic’s proximity to the existing Marlborough site minimises disruption, and ensures that parents and carers can still walk their children to school. During the construction and refurbishment works, site traffic will be limited to non-residential access road Milton Road.

  • What are the access arrangements for the school?

A separate entrance will be created to the temporary school site, on a quiet access road with no residential houses on it. Again, safety of children has been designed into this whole process.

  • Will there be access to the school from the Civic Centre?

There will be no way to access the school site from any part of the Civic site. Extra measures will preserve the school’s privacy from the Civic Centre, including the building of timber hoardings around the site.

  • Will the number of toilets be appropriate given the number of children?

Yes. The new school site is, in fact, larger and will offer significantly more facilities than Marlborough’s current buildings.

  • What other costs will be incurred by relocating other staff to make space?

There will be no extra costs incurred by staff relocation. These buildings were already scheduled to be emptied as part of the Council’s ongoing reorganisation programmes. In fact, there will be efficiencies and savings for the Council as the school takes over and maintains buildings that were scheduled to lie fallow.

  • What risk assessments have been carried out for this move?

The Council has assessed risks thoroughly on the site in three main areas – fabric, operations and health and safety. Significant mitigating action has already been factored into plans. Features of the site including the separate entrance are there to to improve traffic safety while features such as timber hoarding around the site are there to ensure privacy. An overall programme risk register has been started and further formal risk assessments will occur in due course relating to construction risks etc.

  • Where will school meals be served?
  • Where will assemblies be held?

Meals can be served and assemblies held in the large space provided as a school hall.

We’ve got an outstanding Freedom of Information Acts requests to see the drawings of the proposed site – more on that when we have them.

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