School expansion in village near Milton Keynes could cost £500,000 more after council found five ‘unforeseen items’

A village school’s expansion could cost nearly half a million pounds more than originally planned after five “unforeseen items” were spotted.

Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 4:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 4:37 pm

The budget for the expansion of Hanslope Primary School, in Long Street Road, had originally been set at £4.132million but a decision was taken on Tuesday (Oct 20) to increase this to £4.594million.

Increased cost have been identified in the budget for the build part of the project which has been increased from £3.2million to £3.69million.

A delegated decisions meeting was told that so much housing growth is happening in Hanslope that the school needs to increase by one form and a nursery to provide enough spaces for the extra children.

Hanslope School, which was rated as Outstanding by Ofsted in 2016, is currently a 270 place community primary but needs to create 210 more and will be adding 26 nursery places, the meeting was told.

But the meeting heard that the “unforeseen items” included not realising that an astroturf pitch needed to be flat to meet Sport England standards.

Other items discovered were:

> An increase from single to double storey building that needed to include an accessible lift.

Hanslope School

> They found soil contamination which will need removing.

> It needs to have a fire access road and a fire hydrant. Access through a Bloor Homes development turned out to be unfeasible.

> It needs new drainage capacity.

> Solar panels are being installed on the roof.

Project lead Mark McKinlay said: “There has been requirement for further investigations which were not envisaged to start with in the ground, and there has had to be an element of ground levelling on the astroturf area, which wasn’t envisaged

“It looked fairly flat but when it came down to actually doing the design we have to anticipate a levelling of the field to ensure that it qualifies for the Sport England standards.”

Although Mr McKinlay said the project needed more funding he said he was “confident” that “we will be able to bring that down when finalised costs are achieved throughout the next few months.”

The additional budget also includes a 5 per cent buffer just in case costs have to rise.

Cllr Zoe Nolan (Lab, Loughton & Shenley), the council’s cabinet member for children and families, signed off a decision to award the contract to East of England-based construction firm RG Carter.

The council is aiming to have the new part of the school up and running in October/November 2021.