Plans for new Infant and Junior School to follow safety report

Plans for a new Infant and Junior School are to be considered by Executive Council.

MLA Stacy Bragger has said that a recommendation to begin examining concept designs and site locations will be presented to the council in December.
The proposal will be made after the Education Board discussed a report from consultants Atkins Ltd, which concluded there are safety concerns around Stanley’s school buildings.
MLA Bragger told Penguin News: “Following the discussion on the Atkins report at this week’s meeting of the Education Board, an Executive Council paper will be considered in December recommending that a new Infant and Junior School be added to FIG’s long-term capital programme.
“The paper will also ask that approval be given to begin to look at concept designs and site locations for a new Infant and Junior School. Other recommendations in the paper will also include beginning an assessment of the options for Stanley House Hostel and looking at concept designs for the refurbishment and extension options for the Community School.”
Atkins Ltd, a design, engineering and project management consultancy, surveyed Stanley House, the Infant and Junior School and the Falkland Islands Community School in February this year.
Their report highlighted several issues. At IJS, they found that fire and escape routes had not been recommended, while external doors posed a safety and security risk. The fencing around the school was inadequate for security purposes, they said, while the steep, tiered concrete in the playground represented a major tripping hazard to all pupils and staff. They also said that the road access and parking at the school was creating some dangerous situations. The consultants strongly recommended that the Infant and Junior School be unified on one site.
At Stanley House, concerns were voiced over site security. The fire doors pose a safety hazard, they said, while fire safety needed to be reviewed in Lady Hunt House. Additionally, staff accommodation needed to be re-designated as duty flats for staff use only, and washroom privacy had to be improved, particularly in the showers.
The student routes between the dormitories and Stanley House were also unsuitable.
FICS fared slightly better, though fire safety still needed improvement. External doors were again inadequate, and fire escape routes were again not recommended or given appropriate signs. The report also noted the lack of storage space in the building, and the lack of toilets on the first floor.
Penguin News asked MLA Bragger what steps were being taken in the short term to address the issues raised by the report. “PWD are carrying out assessments related to the safety issues raised in the Atkins report. A paper will be coming to Executive Council shortly outlining the short-term actions required and the timescales to complete.”