School may not reopen for a year

Built in the victorian era, Lairdsland Primary School is now being used to house pupils from Holy Family Primary
Built in the victorian era, Lairdsland Primary School is now being used to house pupils from Holy Family Primary

Pupils at a school which was closed at the beginning of term on safety grounds could be out of the building for up 
to a year.

The 350 youngsters at Holy Family Primary School in Kirkintilloch were decanted in August after routine checks revealed a serious crack in a wall on the upper floor.

Since then, pupils have been taught in the former Lairdsland Primary School, which shut earlier this year as part of wider improvements to the school estate.

East Dunbartonshire Council said in August the disruption was expected to last until Christmas while full safety checks were conducted.

But the structural 
survey of the building, which the council had hoped would take four weeks to conclude, is still not complete.

Lenzie and Kirkintilloch South Councillor Gillian 
Renwick told the Herald it could be the summer of 2016 before the children are back at their 
old school.

She said: “The report is not expected to come in front of a council committee before the end of 
October.”

It will then go through various stages and is not expected to come before a meeting of the full council until after Christmas.

Councillor Renwick added: “It will then depend on what work needs to be carried out.

“There is also the practicalities to consider. You cannot decant a school over a weekend. It could be summer before the children are back in the Holy Family building.”

When pupils were moved into the old Lairdsland Primary School, parents voiced their concerns on the Herald’s Facebook page about the shared space project for the town, which includes removing traffic lights and safety barriers at nearby Catherine Street junction.

One resident said: “I do hope they won’t be implementing this shared space nonsense until the kids are back in their 
normal school.”

Thomas Glen, the council’s director of development and regeneration, said: “Any work in the area of the junction will be discussed in advance with the school.”

Grace Irvine, director of neighbourhood services, said the structural survey work at the school was continuing.

She added: “The council decision on the remedial work package will determine the timescale for return and the school community are being kept informed.”