Work underway at South Shields primary school after subsidence causes part of playground to drop
Work is underway to stabilise a playground at Laygate Community School in South Shields, after an area of the site collapsed in July.
South Tyneside Council has said that the area underneath the playground, believed to be an old school basement, has subsided causing the playground to 'drop'.
The basement was demolished and filled in during the early 1970s.
However, council officers have said that there is no risk to the school or nearby residents and the school opened as normal at the end of the summer holidays earlier this month.
The problem is said to have become apparent at the end of July, when the school caretaker noticed a ripple in the surface of the playground at the in Laygate, South Shields.
Work began to investigate the issue and stabilise the site in July and continued during the school’s summer holidays, and is said to be ongoing for the coming months.
Council shiefs say there is no risk to the school or nearby residents – but the playground will be closed while the work is being done to fix the problem.
A Laygate resident said: “I saw the work starting, just before the kids broke up from school.”
Another resident who lives opposite the site, and whose granddaughter attends the Laygate Community School, told the Gazette: “I just thought they were making improvements, I didn’t know there had actually been a collapse or a subsidence of any sort.
“I know the caretaker, and nothing has actually been said. People around here just thought that there was maintenance going on of some sort or building work, given the six week holidays."
A spokesman for the council said: “The infill of the old school basement which was demolished in the early 70s has settled and caused one of the playground areas in the school to drop. As a result, work is currently underway to stabilise the site.
"There is no risk to the current school or nearby residents although the affected playground will be closed while the work continues over the coming months."