Leakage forces Graham to pull down ceiling at £28m Dumfries school

The North West Community Campus in Dumfries

Graham Construction is investigating the cause of a leak at a new school in Dumfries which resulted in the ceiling being brought down just weeks ahead of its opening.

The North West Community Campus has been undergoing a £28 million construction programme since 2016 and is due to open to around 1000 students on August 21.

Posts on social media had suggested that a ceiling had collapsed in the building but Graham said it had taken down the structure in order to carry out repairs after a leak.

A spokesperson from Graham Construction said: “During standard testing toward the completion stage of construction a leak occurred within the staffroom area. This testing was carried out in the evening and in a controlled environment supervised by experienced members of Graham’s staff.

“The matter was identified and isolated and acted upon immediately. The weight of water over a period of time saturated ceiling tiles and caused sagging and superficial damage. Graham took the decision to remove the ceiling completely in this area to ensure full and robust rectification works could be undertaken.”

The spokesperson added: “Graham takes both health and safety; and quality on all of our sites very seriously. That is why we carry out robust testing and commissioning prior to handover.  It is not uncommon for issues to be identified during testing so that we can rectify them.

“We can confirm that full quality assurance procedures have been adhered to on this project. An investigation has been instructed to ensure full understanding of the cause of the leak.

The North West Community Campus will be completed as per the agreed programme with the Authority, creating state of the art facilities of a high quality for North West Dumfries and Graham construction are proud in delivering this project.

The North West Community Campus will be a replacement for the current Lochside and St Ninian’s primary schools, Langlands special school and Maxwelltown High School.

Dumfries and Galloway Council said it had been informed of the testing and that it expects the school to be delivered on schedule.

A spokesperson said: “Dumfries and Galloway Council were informed that there had been a leakage during testing. Graham has given us their assurance regarding the issue being fully rectified and all necessary checks and due diligence being carried out.

“At the moment, the facility is still under the ownership of Graham Construction. The council will not take ownership of the building until all construction works have been completed to the satisfaction of the council.

“North West Community Campus will be a state of the art, modern learning environment for use by pupils and the community. We look forward to opening our doors to welcome pupils when the term starts on 21 August.”

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