Sandal Magna Community Academy handed over to academy trust after leaky roof dispute but cost to taxpayer still not revealed

A Wakefield primary school has finally been handed over to an academy trust after years of dispute over a leaky roof.
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Work has been completed at Sandal Magna Community Academy after a long-running construction problems which have cost the taxpayer millions of pounds.

But a report to councillors states the local authority is still in dispute with a contractor who are making a further claims for costs.

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Roof leaks have repeatedly forced pupils out of the classroom, despite the school only being built in 2010.

Sandal Magna Community Academy.Sandal Magna Community Academy.
Sandal Magna Community Academy.

Attempts to fix it have been constantly hit by setbacks.

An independent inquiry carried out last year found multiple failings across a 15-year period.In April this year, architects were ordered to pay Wakefield Council £1.3m in damages.Read more: Vigilante fears in Ossett over claims of rise in anti-social behaviour

An adjudicator found that the architects that designed the Belle Vue Road building were largely responsible for the issues.

Members of the Council’s Audit and Governance committee are due to receive an update on the matter at a meeting on Monday (November 28).

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A report states: “The main work has now concluded at Sandal Magna and this was completed in advance of the September return by pupils.

“The school is pleased with the works that have now been completed and is functioning well, without intermittent disruption from contractor work or effects of the previous poor designs and construction works.

“There are some snagging items which are being picked up and addressed, but the school is getting on with life without the headache experienced historically.

“In addition to the original scope of work, we have worked with the school throughout and did carry out further work to the school, at their request, whilst a contractor was on site.”

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The report states that there continues to be contract “anomalies”.

A full detailed account of the cost of the scheme cannot be provided to the committee until they have been resolved.

The report says: “The contractor is making further claim under an extension of time and materials.

“Despite several requests for the contractor to provide detailed information, they have yet to substantiate their claim.

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“However the Council position is that we refute and do not accept these claims.

“Meetings have been set up with the contractor with an aim to bringing the process to a satisfactory conclusion, on behalf of the Council.”