Govt to contract for schools maintenance
Wellington will be at the front of the queue for a nationwide undertaking to work out the future cost of maintaining the country’s schools.
The Ministry of Education has put out a forward notice of its intention to seek formal bids on assessing about 210 school buildings across the Wellington region. The Ministry is about to embark on its National Building Condition Assessment Programme, building on work done in Christchurch and the Hawkes Bay/Gisborne regions, according to a notice posted on the Government Electronic Tenders Service.
The Wellington project aims to “undertake condition assessments and to develop 10-year forecast maintenance plans for all schools in order to scope the full extent of the forward capital maintenance liabilities for the school property portfolio,” the notice said. That will “inform the longer term strategy for capital investment in schools.”
The government has flagged it plans to invest the $5 billion to $7 billion raised from the partial asset sale programme in schools, hospitals and infrastructure.
In the ministry’s briefing to the incoming minister, it flagged cost pressures throughout the education system as rising rolls lifted spending on teachers, property and operational funding.
“The rebuild of Christchurch, the strengthening of building standards nationwide, addressing leaky building issues, and responding to growth in specific urban areas will generate particularly large demands on capital,” the briefing said.
Today’s notice comes after the Treasury put out feelers for expressions of interest in a review of a large property portfolio. The notice closed this morning, and the portfolio was kept under wraps as it needed Cabinet approval.
The Wellington project will be split up into three zones of some 70 schools each, for which interested companies or consortia will be able to bid.
The assessments will have to meet the ministry’s criteria, and will incorporate all forward 10-year liabilities and associated earthquake, weather-tightness and other specialist reports. Each school will also need the full extent of forward liabilities scoped and developed into a 10year forecast maintenance plan.
The ministry expects to issue a formal requires for proposal in mid-May.
A national investigation isn’t a certainty, and will follow an assessment of the Auckland region. The ministry plans to put out a tender for schools in the country’s biggest city in June.
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