PREPARATION work for a new £48.5million community campus in Wick has begun with the first turf cut at the site of the new facility.
The Wick Community Campus is set to replace the existing Wick High School, South Primary and Pultneytown Academy Primary School and incorporates a new library and swimming pool in a design which is set to serve both pupils and people within the town and the surrounding area.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, along with pupils from the three participating schools took part in the event alongside representatives of hub North Scotland, the driving force behind the planning, procurement and delivery of community-based projects across the north of Scotland.
The innovative facility will consist of two senior school teaching wings as well as a separate primary school with its own access entrance. A special needs wing, sports block, library, swimming pool, fitness suite and three sports pitches will complete its offering.
The project, which hub North Scotland will lead after being appointed as a development partner by the Highland Council, is the latest in the region to be delivered by the organisation, having recently led the construction of the new Tain Health Centre with a similar project in Forres and the new Inverness Royal Academy all at various stages of development.
Angus Macfarlane, chief executive of hub North Scotland, said, “This is a significant occasion for the Wick Community Campus project and it marks an exciting period of development not only for hub North Scotland and the contractors involved with the project, but more importantly for the pupils, parents and teachers themselves.
“We are committed to delivering first class community facilities within the Highlands and this is another example of what we aim to achieve within this region.
“We want the benefits of this sort of project to be really felt across the area they are being completed in and we’ll continue to do our utmost to allow this to happen. Whether it is through listening to feedback as the project develops or by engaging a local supply chain for the construction itself, ensuring the local economy gains from the process really does drive all of our operations.”
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon added, “I’m delighted I could be in Wick to mark this important milestone for this new school campus and I am confident it will be a fantastic addition to the local community when it is completed in the spring of 2016.
“Having seen the plans for the new school, I am heartened to see the delivery of a school that is innovative, value for money and will provide a fantastic environment for pupils to learn in for many years to come.”
The hub model features a network of regional organisations tasked with increasing the speed in delivering community infrastructure procurements as well as reducing the cost of those projects. It is led by the Scottish Futures Trust.
Hub North Scotland has a £435m development pipeline for the next 10 years, with 14 developments worth £300m already underway.