First turf cut at site of new city primary school
Preparation work for a new £11.9million school in Aberdeen started today (Tuesday 01 April) under the watchful eye of the project's most important stakeholders the pupils who will benefit from the new facility.
Aberdeen City Council agreed to build a new Brimmond School, on the site of the former Newhills School in Bucksburn, to accommodate the area's growing school-age population.
Aberdeen's Convener of Education, Culture and Sport Councillor Jennifer Laing was joined by five Brimmond pupils to take part in the event alongside representatives of hub North Scotland, the driving force behind the planning, procurement and delivery of community-based infrastructure projects across the north of Scotland.
Main contractor Ogilvie Construction and the project's architects as well as teachers and parents also attended.
Bucksburn School and Newhills School were amalgamated to create Brimmond School at the start of the 2013/14 school year. Temporary arrangements were made at the Bucksburn School site to accommodate pupils and staff from Newhills School, which allowed the demolition of the existing Newhills building and construction of the new Brimmond School on the Newhills site.
The impressive new school has been designed to cater for 420 primary pupils and to provide 80 nursery places, as well as accommodation for visual support services.
In addition to classroom and administration space, the innovative plans feature a range of outdoor provision including a cycle track to enable road safety lessons to take place within school complex, courts for basketball and netball in addition to an all-weather sports pitch, an adventure playground, a sensory garden and a woodland wildlife area. The new school building is expected to be operational in August 2015.
The project is the latest in Aberdeen to be delivered using the hub model, in which hub North Scotland has been appointed by Aberdeen City Council as development partner and will lead the project. Hub North Scotland recently marked the opening of the £15m Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village, which it delivered for NHS Grampian.
Councillor Laing said: "This new Brimmond School will be first and foremost a true community school, in every sense of the word. We have worked very closely with the local communities to make sure the new school meets the needs of the area and provides first-class education for the children at both nursery and primary school age.
"This has been an all-round community effort and I want to pay tribute to the way in which so many people from Bucksburn and Newhills parents, pupils, teachers, and other school staff have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into the complicated process which creating a new school always involves.
"The creation of a new primary school in this area is a mark of my Administration's total commitment to supporting and improving education in Aberdeen. Our children are the future of this city and we are doing all we can to make sure that our primary schools are the best that we can possibly provide and that the secondary schools which the youngsters of Newhills and Bucksburn will go on to attend also provide the very best learning environments."
Angus Macfarlane, chief executive of hub North Scotland, said: "Cutting the first turf is very significant and for all those involved in the project it marks an exciting time not least for the pupils, parents and teachers at Brimmond Primary School.
"Hub North Scotland's role is to deliver first class community facilities and this project is an excellent example of what we aim to achieve. Attention to detail at every stage, from planning and design through to the construction and the finished building, is what will ensure we create a school everyone can be proud of.
"In Aberdeen we are beginning to see the fruits of the hub model and this is another example of that, with development across the health, education and emergency services sectors. It is rewarding to see momentum building and communities beginning to benefit from the partnership approach."
Donald MacDonald, managing director of Ogilvie Construction, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the contract to create a high quality educational facility that will benefit pupils, staff and the community alike at Brimmond Primary School.
"Our focus on delivering the highest standards of quality and service are at the core of our success. Brimmond Primary School will provide a first class learning environment as clients continue to recognise the value of a collaborative approach, which ensures that we understand their needs and exceed their expectations."
Hub North Scotland has a £435m development pipeline for the next 10 years as it delivers in sectors including healthcare, education and the emergency services. Further information can be found at the Scottish Futures Trust and hub North Scotland websites.