Sunday, 27 April 2008

It's All Systems Go

Hopefully I'm now going to be able to start posting about what's happening on site, rather than griping about slow progress.

We're in a very strange situation at the moment. Our Governing Body still haven't agreed to enter BSF and financial close isn't likely until late May/early June, and yet, as anyone who's been past the school lately will have spotted, there's rapid development of the site.

Portable classrooms literally sprung up overnight. Before the Spring holidays we were extremely anxious that not much was happening. After the Spring holidays we have a classroom village on our playground. Wilmott Dixon, our builders, are well and truly on site. I'm feeling very reassured about how that's going to work. We have two really good Project Managers assigned to our school. They do what they say they're going to do, make sensible decisions and it's all starting to feel like a proper partnership.

We're now facing "the big move" full on. Over the Whitsun half-term about 50% of the school will be moving into temporary accommodation and we're having to plan it like a military operation. The next four weeks are going to be extremely busy and there are a number of loose ends not as yet tied up. We need to sort out any furniture we need early plus our ICT decant requirements. A lot of the delay is due to the odd situation we're in, whereby there's still no commitment from the school and yet we will need some furniture and ICT kit from the BSF budget that we can't theoretically touch yet. How this is going to be managed is still being picked through, but I really hope there's a sense of urgency. Of course, there's also always the chance that Governors won't agree and we all have to move back into our original spaces and the builders pick up their temporary classrooms and take them home again.

From my point of view most of the really contentious issues are now dealt with, although we are still waiting for revised legal agreements and I'm just about to start going through the proposed final plans in great detail, so there's still plenty of potential for problems. On Friday I met with one of our Design Advisers who explained what the process would be for dealing with queries, and that there's a grading in place for matters that can be resolved after financial close, and matters that have to be resolved urgently.

We've been taking pictures of the portable buildings going on to site, so the next post will actually be visual rather than the usual reams of text. We're planning to put a lot more pictures on the blog from now on, so that you can really see the progress.

Meeting Count 2/11/07 - 25/4/08 Eighty

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