The Education Minister has failed to offer up any details for where plans for a new high school in Castletown are up to.
Julie Edge was asked by Speaker Juan Watterson when she will publish the design and specification for the new Castle Rushen High School; and what the anticipated milestones and timescales are for its construction?
In her response, Ms Edge offered no milestones or timescales, saying only: ‘A detailed feasibility study has recently been completed, and current costings undertaken – this is currently under review by the Department. We anticipate arranging a meeting with Treasury next month, to consider the proposed scope and costs and hopefully jointly establish how we can take the project forward.’
How Did We Get Here?
Back in 2018, the then Education Minister Graham Cregeen outlined plans for a new high school for the south of the island.
It was widely accepted that the school was long past it best, had a leaky roof, was draughty and essential had reached the end of its useful life.
In September of 2018 Mr Cregeen said: ‘The estimated cost is at least £30m. That is a considerable amount of money. Given a fair wind, the plan is for completion in 2022-23.’ He later gave an update date of 2024 when an open meeting was held in the south to outline the plans.
Since then there has been good progress on the sports field side of things, but little to no public evidence of much development on the school side.
- This piece has been updated to reflect that it was Speaker Juan Watterson and not Mr Moorhouse who asked the question. Our apologies for any confusion.