Blackburn schools’ build work to end after years of disruption

Final demolition work goes on at St Bede’s

Final demolition work goes on at St Bede’s

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Education reporter

YEARS of building work at schools across Blackburn is coming to an end.

Work at St Bede’s is entering the final phase under the Building Schools for the Future scheme this summer.

It is not clear whether all building work will be completed by the start of next term but the school is expected to open as normal.

The only work remaining at the Green Lane school is some demolition, but Blackburn with Darwen Council said this last phase would not affect the school opening.

In September last year St Bede’s moved into its modern home, leaving the old buildings on the adjacent street. Pupils have been enjoying new IT suites, science labs and dining facilities while demolition goes on elsewhere.

It was one of eight high schools to open new buildings under the multi-million pound Building Schools for the Future — or BSF programme.

Blackburn with Darwen schools boss Coun Dave Harling said the final phase at St Bede’s marked the end of an epic era of change for local schools.

He said: “We are now pretty close to the end with just some final works to be carried out this year. St Bede’s is the last major project.

“BSF involves private finance initiatives, so there will be ongoing maintenance and communication with Balfour Beatty about these schools for 25 years. We were lucky in our bid to enter BSF. It’s hard to picture the town without these amazing schools in place now.

“St Bede’s has really benefited from some new buildings, but has also experienced a few years of the school being a building site. BSF is disruptive — Our Lady and St John’s had a lot of upheaval — but the new facilities are fantastic.”

Comments (2)

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7:03pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Copperhead says...

PFI - private finance initiate - is a posh way of saying the taxpayer will be ripped off by private sector spiv contractors for decades and at a cost many times of that which the work would have cost if undertaken by the old and much-lamented Direct Works Departments.
The contractors will sell their contracts to some hedge-fund or private investment body in order to generate some immediate cash and these vultures will hold the maintenance contract for the buildings for 25yrs or more.
These thieves will care not a jot about the buildings to their intended use - all they care about is profit.
Repairs will not be done and maintenance will not be carried out.
The school will not get a reply if they try to contact the contract holder because the contract holder will be based in the Cayman islands or the Bahamas and it is unlikely there will be anyone who can actually authorise repairs anyway because all the contact holders will only be holding companies and have no actual working personnel.
The monthly/annual payments will still be made to the contract holder and the school/hospital/offi
ces/whatever will deteriorate as no maintenance will be done.
The building crumbles and decays because the contractor built it on a design and build basis ( D & B is the WORST thing EVER to hit the British infrastructure, allowing contractors to choose the cheapest materials and cheapest design ) and the maintenance contract is owned by spivs in a tax-haven.
Welcome to the wonderful world of PFI.
PFI - private finance initiate - is a posh way of saying the taxpayer will be ripped off by private sector spiv contractors for decades and at a cost many times of that which the work would have cost if undertaken by the old and much-lamented Direct Works Departments. The contractors will sell their contracts to some hedge-fund or private investment body in order to generate some immediate cash and these vultures will hold the maintenance contract for the buildings for 25yrs or more. These thieves will care not a jot about the buildings to their intended use - all they care about is profit. Repairs will not be done and maintenance will not be carried out. The school will not get a reply if they try to contact the contract holder because the contract holder will be based in the Cayman islands or the Bahamas and it is unlikely there will be anyone who can actually authorise repairs anyway because all the contact holders will only be holding companies and have no actual working personnel. The monthly/annual payments will still be made to the contract holder and the school/hospital/offi ces/whatever will deteriorate as no maintenance will be done. The building crumbles and decays because the contractor built it on a design and build basis ( D & B is the WORST thing EVER to hit the British infrastructure, allowing contractors to choose the cheapest materials and cheapest design ) and the maintenance contract is owned by spivs in a tax-haven. Welcome to the wonderful world of PFI. Copperhead
  • Score: 6

9:33am Thu 24 Jul 14

darwenTower says...

In entire agreement with the above.
In entire agreement with the above. darwenTower
  • Score: -3

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