Cladding made of the same material involved in the Grenfell Tower blaze could be removed from a Dundee school more than a year after its presence was first highlighted by The Courier.
Almost a quarter of the cladding covering the external walls of St Paul’s RC Academy in Kirkton is constructed from Reynobond PE, the same material that made up a composite of the panels which clad the exterior of the stricken London tower.
Dundee City Council confirmed it will now write to parents to inform them of the proposed removal of the cladding and will ask local authority members to approve a financial contribution of £70,000 towards the project.
The removal of the St Paul’s cladding and installation of new fire and smoke alarms in a number of domestic properties will be considered by councillors next week as part of a programme of measures to improve fire safety.
It follows a blaze at Braeview Academy in September and revelations fire safety failures highlighted months and years earlier were still not resolved by the time flames enveloped part of the school.
Councillor Alan Ross, convener of Community Safety and Public Protection, said the Braeview fire had led the council to “make additional checks at schools across the city” and pledged to keep parents at St Paul’s updated.
“The council is writing to parents directly to inform them of this development and to offer them assurances about the current fire safety arrangements in the secondary,” he said.
“We are not complacent about fire safety and work regularly with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. This comprehensive report shows the efforts we are making to ensure that risks are minimised across all of our buildings.”
Members of the policy and resources committee will hear that while the aluminium composite material cladding (ACM) meets current Scottish building standards, the UK Government may be considering a ban of this type of material in the future.
Councillors will be told the replacement of the cladding at St Paul’s Academy is likely to take place over the Easter and summer holidays in 2019, in partnership with construction company Sir Robert McAlpine.
Fire specialists have also been appointed to advise on the potential retrofitting of sprinkler systems in multi-storey blocks.
Council leader John Alexander said: “Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower last year, we carried out a thorough investigation and review of fire safety in all of our buildings.
“While the ACM cladding at St Paul’s meets current standards, there may be a change in legislation in the future and I think it is important that we take this opportunity offered by Sir Robert McAlpine to replace this material.‘’
The report covers areas including fire safety regulation, the council’s domestic and other properties, consultation on fire and smoke alarms, building standards and fire risk assessments.
The committee will hear that further reports are likely to follow detailing further recommendation from Scottish and UK government inquiries.