Councillor welcomes Barnhill school upgrade

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FERRY Councillor Laurie Bidwell has given a cautious welcome to a proposed extension and upgrade to Barnhill Primary School.

Dundee City Council’s draft capital plan was circulated on Tuesday afternoon and will be part of the budget meeting in two weeks time. In this report plans for a £1 million, four-classroom extension to and refurbishment of Barnhill Primary School are revealed.

Councillor Bidwell said: “The inclusion in the new capital plan of £1 million for a four-classroom extension to and refurbishment of Barnhill Primary School is very welcome.

“I have been calling for this for a long time, including raising it on the agenda of the education committee last March.

“This announcement is some recognition that more accommodation is required at Barnhill Primary School to fit in the rising number of children within the school’s catchment area in Barnhill, Panmurefield and Balmossie Brae.”

Councillor Bidwell went on: “Parents and carers with pre-school children in this part of the Ferry will be relieved that by the summer of 2014 the school will be able to accommodate more children.

“Of course it’s really early days and the detail in the report is thin. While £1 million is welcome, this is only 20 per cent of the sum previously allocated for future spend on refurbishing and extending the school.

“Bearing in mind that a similar amount of money was approved on a four-classroom extension to Kingspark School at the education committee meeting on Monday, the refurbishment will be limited and certainly not on the scale of the extension and refurbishment at Forthill Primary School a number of years ago.

He concluded: “I will be talking to members of the Parent Council and the head teacher later. I hope we will be able to treat this as a down payment and get the council to increase the budget so that not only will more classrooms be in place but the other facilities in the school, such as the already overcrowded dining hall, can be extended to help keep pace with the rising number of children in the school.”