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Three chase Guernsey schools deal

CONTRACTS - CHANNEL ISLANDS

TWO NATIONAL giants are competing with a local firm from the Channel Islands for a schools job in Guernsey worth £47 million.

Mowlem and Sir Robert McAlpine are vying with RG Falla, Guernsey's largest construction firm, for a linked special needs school and secondary school.

All three firms have recently submitted bids for the deal, although one source close to the project said tenders had all come in much higher than expected.

The States of Guernsey Education Department originally put the value of the secondary school at £25 million, rather than the budget-busting £30 million quoted by the three bidders.

The entire development will cater for around 840 pupils between the ages of 11 and 19 and the two schools will share sports and catering facilities.

A project spokeswoman confirmed that the deal had gone up in value since it was proposed two years ago and said no contractor would be appointed until the project was signed off by politicians.

She said: 'We're waiting for financial approval, which won't happen until the end of February.That should allow us to start enabling works in March or early April.'

The two schools are due to open in September 2007.