WORK to remove and replace a section of a primary school’s roof will take place during the school holidays.

Various works are planned for Macmerry Primary School, which, like all schools across East Lothian, has been shut for several weeks due to the coronavirus.

East Lothian Council gave plans to upgrade the roof the green light last month, with the intention for work to be carried out during the school summer holidays to minimise disruption for the children.

A letter outlining the works has been sent out to the school community by Jonathan Revell, the school’s headteacher.

It notes: “Work has already begun to repair external stonework on our nursery building and you may have already seen vans and scaffolding in place.

“As you know, the council has been monitoring the condition of our gym hall roof and carrying out extensive surveys.

“Based on advice from a structural engineer, the decision has been taken to remove the gym hall roof and replace it.

“As this roof contains asbestos, its removal will be carried out by specialist contractors under licence and in line with all regulations.

“A new wall has already been built between our main hall and the gym hall, completely sealing off the space from the rest of the school.

“A specialist deep clean will be carried out once work is completed.

“The timetable has been planned to complete the roof removal before the end of the summer holidays.

“However, the impacts of Covid-19 on the construction industry throughout lockdown, and the return to school on August 12, which is earlier than our original term dates, means there is a possibility that the timetable could overrun.

“I am working with education and engineering colleagues to develop a contingency plan that would minimise disruption and remove risk.

“I want to make you aware of this possibility but also to reassure you that every effort will be made to complete this part of the project within the summer holiday period.

“Once the roof has been removed, a second phase of work will begin to replace it.

“We expect that this will be completed by the end of October.

“Construction work will be carried out to minimise disruption to our learning activities and in line with all of the necessary hygiene and physical distancing requirements.”

A letter will also be sent out to parents and carers next month to give an update on the progress of the scheme.

No objections were made to the proposals, which were put forward by East Lothian Council.

According to the planning officer’s report: “The works proposed are to upgrade, maintain and improve the overall quality and appearance of the building.”