Council to discuss future of oil-leak hit school with £451,154 having already been spent

ABERDEENSHIRE Council is to meet next week to discuss the appropriate next steps for an oil-leak hit school.

Pupils and staff were moved out of the Gartly School building in Huntley at the end of 2018, following an extensive oil leak.

The local authority has already spent £451,154 on remediation work, but the latest report on the work stated that £872,000 would be required to reinstate the school – with some sections being required to be demolished and rebuilt, due to contamination.

However, the document adds that a combined spend of £1,323,000 would come with ‘no complete guarantee of no contamination’. The council said that the acceptable defined maximum level of contamination for the existing site to be reinstated as a school is zero.

In the upcoming meeting, the council will discuss whether to proceed with remediation work to reinstate Gartly School or to conduct a full options appraisal and extensive engagement on all options – including demolishment, which they estimate would cost £245,000.

Marr area committee chair, councillor Moira Ingleby, said, “We appreciate the pressing nature of this from the Gartly community’s point of view and we have been pushing to get this back on the table at the earliest possible opportunity. I think it’s really useful that parents as well as community representatives have now had the opportunity to have a further discussion with senior officers and we will look forward to considering the updated report.”