Planning approval for Passivhaus primary school in Irvine

PLANS have been approved for a new primary school at Montgomerie Park, Irvine, which will be built to Passivhaus standards.

The facility will comprise 12 classrooms, early learning facilities, a gym incorporating flexible performance areas, dining facilities, and outdoor learning spaces including an all weather sports pitch.

hub South West Scotland has appointed Robertson Construction Central West as its Tier 1 delivery partner for this project on behalf of North Ayrshire Council.

Partly funded through the £2 billion Learning Estate Investment Programme (LEIP), the new school has been tipped to support ‘sustainable and inclusive’ economic growth.

Designed by JM Architects, the facility will benefit from ‘extensive landscaping’ and will  support the recent housing development at Montgomerie Park Irvine.

The school will be the first Passivhaus school in North Ayrshire Council’s education portfolio. It is expected to use 60-80% less energy than a typical school building, resulting in carbon reduction and lower operational costs.

Councillor Shaun Macaulay, cabinet member for education, said, “We are delighted that we have reached this milestone in what promises to be a fantastic learning environment for our young people. We are proud of our school estate across North Ayrshire and this modern, eco-friendly school we are striving to create in Irvine will be a huge asset to not only the pupils and families but also staff that work there.

“We look forward to work starting and ultimately the school opening in 2024. This significant investment reflects the Council’s strong commitment to improving educational outcomes for our children and young people.”

Andy McLinden, regional MD, Robertson Construction Central West, added, “Our continuing relationship with hub South West Scotland will see the delivery of a sustainable new school which is set to further enhance the learning opportunities within North Ayrshire. The school will create a strong civic landmark for Montgomerie Park and further demonstrates North Ayrshire Council’s commitment to academic attainment and reducing carbon emissions through its operations.”

Michael Ross, chief executive, hub South West Scotland, commented, “We are pleased at the decision reached by the committee which will see us deliver the new primary school and early years facility in time for the start of the 2024 academic session. In addition to our commitment of delivering a first-class learning environment along with our Tier 1 contractor, Robertson Construction Central West, we will be ensuring that this programme of works creates tangible social value to the local community with support from our dedicated community investment team.

“Through this project, we will be creating a total of eight new jobs and dedicating over 2,000 hours to supporting young people into work, through school visits and the provision of twenty-four work placements. We will also be supporting local businesses with a committed spend of over £5million to the local supply chain. This commitment strengthens our long-term relationship with North Ayrshire Council, having delivered over £188 million worth of projects over the last decade.”

Works are due to start in early 2023 with the school scheduled to open in time for the academic year beginning August 2024.