I think we really are heading towards the beginning of the end. Financial close, which was originally supposed to be December 19th, now appears to be mid-April (which is actually after the temporary accommodation is due to rumble on site). I can't see that it can drift past that time without causing major problems. At our end the pace is suddenly really picking up, and we've had a very odd couple of weeks indeed due to desperation on everyone's part to get things resolved.
If you've been following this blog you'll know there are a few major issues where we have not yet had agreement. This week the Governing Body was called to a meeting with the Chief Executive, the Councillor leading on BSF and the Head of Children's Services in order to try and tie up a few loose ends with our school. The meeting had a very reasonable tone, but I'm not sure how much further forward we were at the end of it, as a couple of issues were raised that we hadn't realised involved the school. We're meeting again next week, and we'll see where that takes us.
We also had a session with the architects where we were presented with a list of items that were contributing to the "affordabilility gap" and were asked whether we could do without them. Lingo Bingo fans will want to know that this is known as "value engineering". We didn't agree to all the proposals, but I would imagine that we engineered a lot of value.
Earlier on the same day we had a rare event - a meeting that was originally scheduled for 4 hours, got reduced to 2 and ended up only taking an hour-and-a-half (half an hour of which spent chatting while a group went and stared at the server room). This was an ICT meeting about the decant. Reasonable proposals were put on the table, we all agreed to them and that was pretty much that.
The major concern for me at the moment is that we're supposed to be approaching agreement on everything by Friday. As things stand that seems like a tall order, although far less impossible than some of the other deadlines we've had in the past. I think it's going to be a really busy week though.
Meeting Count 2/11/07 - 7/03/08 Sixty.