AN ALLOA school building is to close its doors as a result of ongoing water damage, elected members have agreed.

The St Mungo's Roman Catholic PS building has been subject to a mysterious ingress of water which forced the pupils and staff to move into Alloa Academy in April.

The school itself will remain in the community, with an open day for prospective families to be hosted later this month.

Subsequent investigations into the damp at the primary school building have highlighted "complex groundwater conditions prevailing in the area".

But despite Clackmannanshire Council commissioning two separate reports, the exact underlying cause has not been identified.

Thursday's meeting of the People Committee at Kilncraigs heard that remedial work, including the replacement of the "floor, heating system and all pipework", could total at around £1.8million.

However, there could be no guarantees that these costs could be limited or, indeed, that further damage might occur.

In papers presented to councillors, officers noted: "...It is difficult to identify a specific feature that is likely to be responsible for the water entering the site.

"The reports do not provide guarantees that the cost of the repairs can be limited to £1.8m, or that the dampness would not return in the future."

Councillors agreed it would not be inappropriate to carry out the repair work, with St Mungo's to remain guests within a self-contained unit at Alloa Academy on the “medium term”.

It is expected this arrangement will remain in place for around three years, while long-term plans are fully developed and consulted on.

The council paper continued: "Senior officers met with members of both parent councils, elected members and representatives of the Catholic Church on September 27.

"The technical briefing was shared, which informed the discussions. At that meeting, parents expressed concerns about operational matters such a school toilets, lunch time arrangements and school grounds.

"These have now been reviewed and changes have been put in place and a development plan is being taken forward for the school grounds.

"Regular meetings have been arranged between the chairs from both parent councils and officers of the council, including the two headteachers, to maintain an ongoing dialogue with parents."

In an FAQ to parents, it was highlighted an Alloa South Campus was being considered for construction and would incorporate a number of schools and nurseries, much like the nearby Tullibody South Campus development, which incorporated St Bernadette’s RC Primary.

However, Father Michael Freyne, representative of the RC Church, yesterday (Thursday) highlighted to committee that the church had no desire for another school to be a part of another shared campus.

He explained concerns had been raised with him on that point, with a number of people stopping him on the streets to air their views.

There was agreement in the chamber in general that the move was necessary for the health and wellbeing of both children, teachers and other staff.

Conservative Cllr Darren Lee questioned officers whether the issues arose because of a design fault to be told no, before raising concerns over the fact that no one could identify a specific feature that is likely to be the underlying cause.

Committee chair Cllr Graham Lindsay reiterated the move was about ensuring safety, saying that was an easy decision.

He outlined that with no guarantee nearly £2m would fix the problem for good, the SNP administration felt the money was better spent elsewhere.

Future plans for St Mungo’s RC Primary School will depend on the availability of funding, added the chair before the paper was unanimously agreed.

Cllr Lindsay, who is also the education spokesperson, later added: “I know that this has been a concerning time for parents and the school community, and I’d like to thank them for all the hard work that has ensured that the young people attending St Mungo’s and Alloa Academy continue to receive a good educational experience in a safe environment.

"There are opportunities from being situated within Alloa Academy, such as the facilities on offer and we are keen to ensure that St. Mungo’s is able take advantage of these.

"Officers will now start work on considering future plans for St Mungo’s, and will continue to keep talking with the parent councils to ensure that they are kept up to date.”

Officials, and members of the parent council, are keen to note that the school itself will remain open for the community.

Indeed, the St Mungo's will be hosting an open day for prospective students on November 21 from 1.15-2.15pm at Alloa Academy.

A spokesperson for the parent council added: "We are passionate about our school and keeping it open and running."