STAFF and pupils at an Alloa nursery may have to re-locate as officials face a massive repair bill for the building.

The future of ABC Nursery is uncertain; however, council officials insist no decision has been taken and options remain open.

Documents for last Thursday's, January 30, People Committee highlighted that a recent condition survey, understood to have been completed before Christmas, showed "considerable investment would be required" to maintain the Grant Street building.

A meeting with parents and staff took place two days before the committee met at Kilncraigs and, with the current financial climate in mind, there are concerns the building could be axed.

One parent, who wished to remain anonymous, told to the Advertiser that they felt staff at ABC were particularly brilliant at catering for children with additional support needs and disabilities.

They fear a move to a different nursery could lead to the loss of that kind of quality service.

Travel could also be an issue for some families, should the nursery be moved to a different building or children transferred to another nursery.

One solution the parent called for was to relocate the nursery to Alloa Family Centre, less than a mile away.

At the council meeting last week, it was agreed that consultation would take place with families and staff "to ascertain future provision".

The local authority's education spokesman and chair of the committee, Cllr Graham Lindsay, wanted to make clear that "potential solutions will be explored once the engagement process with families and staff has taken place".

At the meeting, he said the council "must ensure" nurseries are in the best possible condition for children and staff.

He also said there was "no conspiracy" around ABC, as he pledged to remain "open and transparent".

In a statement, he later added: "This engagement process will take place over the coming weeks and the findings will be reported back to the People Committee in May.

"With regard to the building the nursery is housed in, our ongoing programme of works on council property identified issues regarding the roof, heating and electrics.

"We have acquired the necessary quotes for maintenance work and are now assessing these."

The Advertiser understands the repair bill is potentially in the region of £600,000, a figure not disputed by the council during enquiries.

The issue was debated as part of a wider report on the planned expansion of early learning and childcare locally, in line with the Scottish Government's 1,140 hours policy.

Committee papers said that ABC Nursery "will offer full year and term time during hours of 8am – 6pm from August 2020".

The condition survey referred to in the documents was not included on the day, Cllr George Matchett asking whether that will be coming forth.

Responding, a council officer said it would not be "normal practice" to bring it to the People Committee.

They added council staff are looking at a broad range of information and that the future of ABC would be considered as part of the wider learning estate strategy.