Scots engineer ‘blacklisted’ after claiming £12m school could collapse

A civil engineer says he’s been blacklisted by firms across Britain after claiming a £12million school had major design faults and could collapse.

Brimmond Primary in Aberdeen houses 270 pupils and 70 nursery children.

Stephen Dick, who was project ­manager, lost his job after pointing out faults in the foundations, which he claimed would lead to subsidence.

He said he has rarely worked in the UK since turning whistleblower, and added: “I believe I have been blacklisted because of the safety issues I have raised.”

Brimmond Primary School Aberdeen

Scots engineer 'blacklisted' after claiming £12m school could collapse

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Subsidence is where the ground beneath a building sinks, pulling the foundations down with it.

The civil engineer, from Helensburgh, Argyllshire, has been raising concerns about the school since his dismissal but has now decided to go public.

Stephen, 61, claimed there is subsidence in Brimmond’s playground – 19ft from the main school building – that has worsened.

Building work began in April 2014 by Stirling’s Ogilvie ­Construction and ended in November 2015.

But Stephen said when he returned from a holiday in July that year he found a 16ft-deep trench had been dug – against his instructions – ­leaving the site exposed to flooding and, in turn, subsidence.

Stephen said the trench has put the school “in grave ­danger”. He claimed he was sacked days later after complaining.

Since then he has raised the issue with ­Aberdeen City Council and the ­Scottish Government.They insisted there is no ­evidence of ­subsidence and the building is safe.

Aberdeen City Council is believed to have commissioned four reports into ­Stephen’s concerns and he would like to see them made public.

Stephen’s local MSP Jackie Baillie said: “It is essential that a ­complete and ­thorough ­investigation is ­carried out.”

Aberdeen City Council said: “We have treated his ­allegations seriously and ­carried out a ­number of surveys/­investigations… the most recent being early 2020. There is no evidence of any ­subsidence at the school.”

Jackie Baillie MSP Scottish Labour
Jackie Baillie MSP Scottish Labour

An ­Ogilvie spokesman said the school building and ­foundations “were designed and ­constructed to a very high standard and ­certified as fully compliant with building regulations and ­standards”.

He added there have been two ­independent ­investigations into the claims, “both of which found no evidence of ­subsidence”.

The Scottish ­Government said: “The council has assured us there is no ­evidence to ­support the claims.”

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