Page 2, 21st October 1949

21st October 1949
Page 2
Page 2, 21st October 1949 — BUILDING - SCHOOLS SIR,-1 hope we are putting up a real

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BUILDING - SCHOOLS SIR,-1 hope we are putting up a real

fight for our schools and not a sham fight, and I consider that Architects who are more concerned with imaginative design than purposely set on reducing the cost in every item used are wrestling immaturely.

I am not unaware that a whole series of sub-contractors is expected to pay the main contractors 2 per cent. on their sub-contract, and neither am I unaware of the real labour Costs in the shadow factories which produce the various parts of a standardised building. I am fully aware of the big profits made by some of these firms. Although the Ministry of Education estimates places in schools to cost between £200 and £300. the five North Riding schools, each individually designed, are costing £140 per place, and a sixth school has just been accepted

at £132 per place. An additional classroom was included in each school, so building costs can be reduced. Further savings can be effected on cloakrooms and lavatories because the Ministry is prepared to agree to a less generous standard. A separate Dining Hall does not warrant justification in either Primary or Secondary Schools as meals can be had in the Assembly Hall, which is a more attractive

place. Also the storage place suggestcd in the Buildings Memorandum would seem to be over-generous. If reduction in costs can be effected where there is determination on five schools, it is a simple law of economics that bigger reductions in building costs can he effected on a National basis.

I appreciate that a letter in THE CATHOLIC HERALD can do no full justice to all items involved in calculating the costs of building our schools, but I still maintain that we cannot afford building each school as a prototype, and, driven by the urgency of the problem, a National Council of Catholic Architects and Civil Engineers ought to attack the problem co-operatively with a Catholic Wimpey and be agreed on nonfee-splitting. Times have passed for individual acme. Divided we lose. We tnust have the schools if we want to make sure of the future of the Church in England, for if we have the children. we have the future.

P. H. G. TAK,

Rector, St. Paul's Cray. cio St. Philomena's Convent, Grassmeade, Chelsfield Road, St. Mary Cray.

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