The number of Merthyr Tydfil school buildings deemed to be in a poor or bad condition has increased over the past eight years.
A report due to be considered by the council’s learning scrutiny committee shows that there are currently nine schools whose buildings are in poor or bad condition compared to seven schools in 2010.
It also showed that total backlog maintenance costs have increased over the same period to £5.9 million.
The council is currently in the final year of a five year condition survey programme of all its buildings between 2014-2019.
The authority is aiming to have no schools in a”poor” or “bad” condition as it bids to gain access to money from the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools fund.
The council’s school building stock condition is rated from A to D with A being good, B being satisfactory, C being poor and D being bad.
How they rated in 2010
In 2010, two schools, Afon Taf and Ysgol y Graig, were rated as being in bad condition, five as poor, 18 as satisfactory and three as good.
Backlog maintenance costs across all schools was £5.4 million with £1.3 million of this relating to two schools which were planned to be dealt with as part of the five year programme.
There was a further £1.9 million in backlog maintenance costs for the five schools rated “poor” meaning £3.2 million or 58 per cent of the required backlog maintenance related to just seven or 25 per cent of the total number of schools.
How they rate now
This year there are still two schools rated bad but the councils says it expects Ysgol y Graig to be rated good by the end of March 2020.
Ysgol Y Graig is currently at the final stage of the 21st Century Schools business case process and will be considered for final approval by Welsh Government during September.
The percentage of schools with buildings in a satisfactory condition has reduced from 75 per cent to 61 per cent, whilst schools that are considered to be in either a poor or bad condition has increased to eleven schools or 39 per cent of schools.
Afon Taf High School has been successfully refurbished as part of Band A of the 21st Century Schools Programme and is now in good condition with no backlog maintenance.
The current backlog maintenance across all schools, excluding Ysgol Y Graig, is £5.9 million which is £1.8 million more than the equivalent figure in 2010, an increase of 44 per cent.
But the council says this figure is likely to change as the local authority’s five year condition survey programme 2014-2019 is completed by the end of 2018/19.
This is a breakdown of the maintenance costs per category (excluding Ysgol y Graig) with the average cost per school in 2018:
- Band B “satisfactory” schools: £1.07 million with an average of £82,000 per school
- Band C “poor schools”: £3.52 million with an average of £391,000 per school
- Band D “bad schools”: £1.33 million for one school.
Three of the four condition A schools were new builds in 2009 and 2010 and are due to be surveyed in this the final year of the current five year programme.
The other condition A school is Afon Taf which was completed in August 2017.
A total of £4.86 million or 82 per cent of the total backlog maintenance required applies to condition C and D schools, compared to 58% in 2010.
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