College is not a danger, say bosses

New College Lanarkshire's campus in Motherwell
New College Lanarkshire's campus in Motherwell

Motherwell’s New College Lanarkshire campus won’t be closing despite having been built by the firm at the centre of a schools safety scare.

Bosses insist the Ravenscraig buildings offer a “safe working and studying environment”.

Seventeen schools in Edinburgh remained shut this week after the Easter holidays to allow inspections to take place.

Urgent work is being carried out on four of these. Problems were found in January when a wall at one school collapsed during high winds. The schools were built by Miller Construction under a public private partnership.

NCL’s £70 million Motherwell campus, which opened in 2009, was also built by Miller. Students are due to return on Monday after the Easter break.

A spokesman said a full condition survey last year “did not highlight any areas of concern”, adding: “On this basis our Motherwell campus remains open as it is a safe working and studying environment for students and staff.”

Ashley Hickford, president of the college students’ association, said there was “obvious concern” given the revelations about other Miller buildings.

She added: “With college on a holiday break just now, we hope management are working to ensure that there are no building issues at NCLAN and that students will return safe in the knowledge they won’t be affected and can resume their studies as normal.”

Local councillors Gary O’Rorke, Frank McKay and Sam Love have urged North Lanarkshire Council chief executive Paul Jukes to order an “immediate examination” of all its public buildings constructed in the last 10 years to ensure there is “absolutely no danger”.

In a letter they have also asked Mr Jukes to raise concerns with college management.

Meanwhile, the council has assured parents its new schools are safe. Twenty four schools and five community facilities were built during its Education 2010 Public Private Partnership.

Mr Jukes said: “We didn’t use the same contractor as Edinburgh City Council. Initial inspections have been done and no issues have been reported. We are confident in the design and construction of our newer schools estate.”