Fears that the timescales for the long-awaited replacement of Madras College in St Andrews could slip beyond the current 2020/21 estimate have been heightened.
Work on a new roundabout and access road that will serve the proposed new school and the St Andrews West development is said to be progressing well.
However, a start date for the construction of the actual buildings has still to be set, as the development is effectively tied to discussions relating to the wider St Andrews West masterplan.
Local Labour councillor Brian Thomson has raised concerns about the process and said hopes of seeing the masterplan approved by councillors this month had faded.
“As a local councillor, I’m particularly aware of how desperately needed a new school is,” he said.
“Councillors were recently advised that netting is to be fixed to the science block at Madras College’s South Street campus, to prevent non-structural cladding from falling off, and it’s just another example of why the new school needs to be delivered as soon as possible.”
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The Courier newsletter
He said the stated aim of Fife Council officers to complete the new school in the 2020/21 academic year was starting to look very ambitious.
“My personal view is that having the new school ready for use by August 2021 would be acceptable, but anything beyond that would not, and I’m sure that view would be mirrored in the local community,” he added.
Mr Thomson said he had written to SNP councillor Fay Sinclair, the council’s education and children’s services convener, seeking assurances that any outstanding issues that might prevent a start date from being confirmed are resolved as soon as possible.
Ms Sinclair has been unavailable this week, but Alan Paul, senior manager, said the local authority hoped to make headway on the new school soon.
“It is still very much our aim to see a new Madras delivered for 2020/2021 and everyone is working towards this,” he said.
“We hope to begin some enabling works for the new school shortly.
“This is work that needs to be done before construction of the new school can begin and the work is likely to take approximately 11 weeks.
“We are continuing to work with planning colleagues and STAW on the broader educational impact of their proposed development in the hope that this could allow the masterplan for St Andrews West to be considered by north east Fife planning committee before the summer.”