No money to tackle Madras College’s lengthy repair list

Madras College on South Street in St Andrews
Madras College on South Street in St Andrews

Lavatories, windows, chewing gum, carpets and curtains – just a few of the things on a lengthy “shopping list” of repairs needed to the Madras College buildings.

But it will be a two-year programme of improvements, with no money in Fife Council’s budget for them. And now Councillor Tim Brett has accused the administration of taking its eye off the ball.

“Why oh why, has it taken the council nine months to get this list together – and then tell us there is no money to do the work?” he asked, adding: “And why is it going to take two years when we hope we will have a new building in four or five years?”

The Tay Bridgehead councillor has accused the Labour administration of “having taken its eye off the ball” in basic maintenance: “Some things have not been done because people think that we are getting a new school.”

Council leader David Ross said in April last year that council officers were working on proposals for improvements to the current buildings “as a matter of urgency”.

But last week members of the school’s parent council were presented with a three-page list of outstanding work on the Kilrymont and South Street buildings encompassing everything from the condition of the school’s lavatories to window cleaning and the removal of chewing gum from desks – and the prospect of a two-year work programme, even if funding can be found for it.

Louise Playford, Fife Council’s service manager school estate, responded: “A programme of work was undertaken during summer 2016. Following the completion of this initial phase, a prioritised list of work to the existing buildings has been prepared by gathering the priorities raised by members of the pupils, parent council and staff.

“A funding bid has been submitted which elected members will consider as part of the budget process in February 2017. In the meantime – to ensure we are ready to proceed should funding be made available – we have started the early design work and discussion with planners regarding potential listed building consent, for any work which requires this.”

The programme is being developed over a two-year period, with the majority of the work planned during holiday periods to avoid disruption to learning and teaching.