£10m will see fire-ravaged school rise from the ashes

Fire aftermath at Leyland St Mary's Catholic Technology College
Fire aftermath at Leyland St Mary's Catholic Technology College
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The full cost of rebuilding the Leyland school ravaged by fire last month will top £10m, according to loss adjusters.

As five boys were re-bailed by police this week on suspicion of arson, councillors have been told it will be September 2015 before St Mary’s Catholic Technology College is fully back in business.

Estimates given to County Hall bosses reveal the bill for clearing the decimated site and replacing the 60 per cent of buildings destroyed in the blaze will total “not less than £10m.” It will all be covered by insurance.

The bulk of that - £7.6m - will come in reconstruction costs, County Councillor Matthew Tomlinson told yesterday’s meeting of the full council.

A breakdown of the remainder of the bill shows clearance of the site and making it safe has already cost £100,000, the replacement of furniture and equipment will total £400,000 and another £35,000 will have to be spent on replacing IT equipment.

In addition the price for re-housing the teachers and 730 pupils at the former City of Preston School in Ribbleton will reach around £150,000 including transport, getting the parts of the St Mary’s site which escaped the worst of the blaze back into working order will total £250,000 and the price of temporary classrooms while the school is rebuilt will top £1m.

“The estimated time getting St Mary’s fully functional again is by the beginning of September 2015,” said Coun Tomlinson, member for Leyland Central.

“We must pay tribute to everyone - the school staff, the diocese and our own county council staff - for the incredible job they have done to get the children back to school so quickly.

“The headteacher is absolutely passionate about this school and she is determined the impact on those children will be kept to an absolute minimum.”

All five year groups from St Mary’s were bussed to Preston in the first weeks after the blaze.

But remedial work on buildings which survived meant years seven, 10 and 11 were able to return home to the Leyland site almost straight away, leaving just years eight and nine who are expected to return by December 16.