Tenders are being sought for a £1.6 million contract to rebuild a Fife primary school which was ravaged by fire less than a year ago.
The rear of Cairneyhill Primary School suffered significant damage when a blaze ripped through the junior section on the afternoon of December 8.
Children and staff were forced to flee the building and had to deal with the aftermath in the weeks that followed, with pupils and teachers relocated to Tulliallan Primary School while part of the existing school was torn down.
Temporary accommodation is currently on site which allowed the youngsters to return to Cairneyhill earlier this year, but Fife Council is now offering contractors the work to reinstate and renew the fire-damaged section of the school.
According to documents seen by The Courier, the seven-month contract will be worth around £1.6 million and it is hoped rebuilding work will be able to start as soon as possible.
Shelagh McLean, head of the education service in Fife, said: “The staff have worked very hard since last December to make sure that the learning and teaching in the school has continued with as little disruption as possible.
“Of course, everyone is keen to get in to the new building as soon as possible. We have recently advertised for tenders for this project and hope that a contractor can be appointed soon.
“It will be our intention to have work begin on site at the first opportunity.”
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The pre-Christmas blaze is though to have been caused by a fault in the school’s electrical system, although it prompted a number of safety concerns after it emerged a security alarm and not a fire alarm alerted staff.
Fortunately, most of the pupils and staff had been in another part of the school grounds when the alarm was raised and were led to safety in a nearby church before parents and carers were able to collect them.
It was later revealed that around one in four Fife schools do not have smoke detectors, although Fife Council officials stressed that all new builds have fire alarms built in with their specification.
That will be the case in relation to the new build at Cairneyhill Primary, although it is not immediately clear when the work will be carried out.