WORK has started on the £25 million new Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr, being built by Kier Construction.
The school, which is due to complete in October 2019, has been tipped to become a hub for the local community. Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, joined youngsters, staff and local councillors to mark the start of construction work.
The project has been boosted by £8.5 million from South Ayrshire Council and £16.5 million from the Scottish Government through its ‘Schools for the Future’ programme.
The new school is being constructed on the grounds of the existing school will have capacity for up to 800 pupils. Features include modern classrooms and interactive learning environments, a large games hall, gym, fitness and movement room, two all-weather pitches and hard games courts. The facility will also house Psychological Services and a Supported Learning Centre, which are already at the existing school and will have accommodation for teaching Gaelic.
When the school opens, the old building will then be demolished and the site fully landscaped.
The school is being delivered by South Ayrshire Council in partnership with hub South West.
John Swinney said, “We know state-of-the-art accommodation can inspire students, staff and parents, and so I am very happy to help get work started on the new academy which will be the 104th school to start construction of a total 117 to be built under the Schools for the Future programme by March 2020.
“I am looking forward to seeing the difference this building will make for pupils in years to come, and pleased the Scottish Government was able to provide almost £17 million from our Schools for the Future programme to help make this happen.”
Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West added, “We are delighted to see construction works now commencing on the new Queen Margaret Academy site. Having worked with South Ayrshire Council previously on a number of successful projects including Dailly Primary School, Tarbolton Community Campus and the fantastic new Ayr Academy, we are looking forward to building on our portfolio and our relationship with the Council. The new Queen Margaret Academy will be a real asset to the local community and a wonderfully modern and innovative environment in which young people can learn and thrive.”
Brian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction Scotland said, “We are pleased to start work on delivering this leading, modern academy for South Ayrshire Council which will provide fantastic new teaching and sports facilities for students and the wider community to enjoy.
“Through hub South West, we are working with local suppliers and SMEs to ensure that the project provides important training and employment opportunities and boosts the local economy. During construction, up to 100 workers will be on site during peak periods and we will create 20 work placements, 10 apprenticeships and a graduate traineeship, giving local young people valuable experience of working in this diverse and rewarding industry.”