It’s ‘Glass of 98’ as windows are fixed

Bo'ness Academy windows are being refurbished ahead of new session.
Bo'ness Academy windows are being refurbished ahead of new session.

Bo’ness Academy is being spruced up ahead of the new session.

The Gauze Road building has been swathed in scaffolding in recent weeks and the school explained that workmen have been carrying out regular regular maintenance work during the holidays and the plan is to have the scaffolding down before pupils arrive back after the summer break.

Falkirk Council was the first Scottish council to adopt the PFI funding model when the new Academy and four other schools were built in 2000 when a third party undertook the construction work for them.

Local councillor Ann Ritchie said: “I noticed the scaffolding myself and am a bit surprised that such maintenance is needed after such a short time.”

A spokesman for Falkirk Council said: “The payments made to Class98 cover the initial borrowing in terms of construction, annual services and the both reactive and planned asset lifecycle replacement work.

‘‘Class 98 has an annual programme of lifecycle replacement work for each school over the whole of the contract period. No additional cost is incurred by the council for this.

‘‘The work being under-taken in Bo’ness Academy is not a full window replacement programme but is work to replace the window seals to ensure that the windows are draught free and water-tight.”

The Scottish Office paid £50,000 to allow them to use Falkirk as the test bed for the then-new PFI scheme.

The previous Bo’ness Academy was by then two buildings, one built in 1925, the other in the early 1970s.

It was the newer building which gave cause for concern and structural engineers were called in.

It was decided that the only solution would be to rebuild from scratch as the concrete structure was badly decayed.