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Pimlico decision now part of strategic review

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David Taylor's article, 'Pimlico designer Bancroft enlists Stansfield Smith' (AJ 15.2.01) misunderstands the status of the Hawkins/Brown feasibility study for refurbishing Pimlico School. It was in no way a definitive proposal. The practice was asked to develop an illustrative feasibility study as part of an exercise to give governors additional information before deciding whether to proceed with the new-build scheme through the St George's Square Partnership. Following the decision not to proceed, any proposals to resolve the building problems of Pimlico School will require a new procurement process that will need to meet European Commission rules.

It would be wrong, therefore, to assume that Hawkins/Brown or any other organisation has a particular advantage in securing any contract that may arise from such a procurement process.

The article referred to Westminster's review of secondary education, stating that announcements about capital funding for Pimlico School will be made in 2002. In advance of the approval of proposals arising from the review of secondary education, it is not possible to make a definitive statement about the level of future capital funding or its availability.

Finally, the article's consideration of the development of the building itself does not pay sufficient attention to the changing needs of secondary education.

Before rushing to proposals for any refurbishment scheme, we need to be clear about the requirements for the school over the next 25-30 years.

John Harris, director of education, City of Westminster

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