The Council has announced that it is about to decide on the appointment of architects for the Orleans Infant & Nursery School and St Stephens Junior School Expansions. Details of the proposed decisions may be viewed here and here These decisions will not be made before 10 August 2009. It is proposed to appoint DLA Architecture Ltd to do Orleans for a fee of £160,000 and Reformat LLP to do St Stephens for a fee of £450,000. The total budgets are £3.1 mn and £2.0 mn. The build costs are £2.0 mn. and £1.2 mn.

Another report states

’… The design work(s) for the expansion of each school needs to commence during July 2009, if they are to be complete by July 2011 . . Completion of the building work is targeted for July in each case so as to give time for the installation of loose furniture and equipment, ICT and time for the schools to move into and occupy the new buildings in each case over the summer holiday period, ready for the start of the following term in September when the additional children are anticipated to need places at these schools.

Should building works in each case not be complete, the education of those children due to attend the school concerned would be severely disrupted, and attract severe adverse publicity towards the council. Whilst these time scales initially appear generous, the time required to consult, design, obtain planning consent and prepare tender documents and then actually build these projects will mean that in reality these time scales will be challenging to achieve.

Additionally these consultants should ideally be appointed before the school summer holidays commence, so they have had time to consult with the schools prior to head teachers and other stake holders becoming unavailable over the summer break. This will create the need for a timely decision-making process regarding the formal appointment of consultant architects, engineers and surveyors, which will likely fall outside of the usual cabinet approval timetable.’

— from Christopher J Squire