Asbestos discovery prompts further delays to project

The former Torry Academy building (Image: Google)

THE demolition of a secondary school in Aberdeen has experienced further delays as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the discovery of additional asbestos at the site.

Work at the former Torry Academy building was halted on March 23, in line with government guidance.

An Aberdeen City Council report on the project read, “Due to the lockdown instructed by the UK Government on 23 March 2020, a wide variety of construction works were put on hold.

“This included the asbestos removal and demolition works at the former academy. This delay was then further compounded by a reluctance, by the appointed asbestos contractor, to resume works due to difficulty in sourcing suitable accommodation and following the discovery that the required works will take longer than was first predicted.”

As a result, the local authority has instructed the project’s demolition contractor, David Smith Contractors Ltd, to remove the remaining asbestos. However, the report continued by detailing how the asbestos is in ‘challenging’ locations which has resulted in an extension to the project’s completion date

The council now anticipates demolition work to be completed in summer 2021. A £25 million community hub and primary school will then be built at the site, with the council having appointed hub North Scotland to deliver the project. The local authority said it expects the work to be completed in winter of 2022/23 – plans for the hub were first launched in 2018.

The report continues, “The new Torry Hub will bring together in one place a range of services which will create synergies and a shared purpose to provide an environment where social, economic, educational, recreational and cultural activities can occur, service provision gaps can be closed and new opportunities to address system failures can be designed and implemented.”