Contractor set to be announced for Dundee community campus build

DUNDEE City Council is to consider a tender to appoint Robertson Construction Tayside to build the new East End Community Campus.

The project will replace two ‘outdated’ schools in the city, with the local authority’s leader describing it as the ‘most important investment in the city’s future’.

Construction is set to start in April, with a completion date of July 2025 being targeted. The council said that, since it published its revised capital plan in November, the price of the project has increased from £86.814 million to a projection of £100.8 million.

The community facility, which will replace the current Braeview Academy and Craigie High School, will house a music and drama centre suitable for city-wide school and community use. There will also be a café and library that will be accessible during the day for combined community and school use.                      

Sport facilities which include floodlit all weather pitches, a fitness suite, and a dance studio in addition to the standard gym and games halls will also be available for use during the day to help create a fully integrated community feel.

Council leader John Alexander said, “It will be more than a school, it will be a focus for the whole community and will be accessible and inclusive. This campus will help improve the future prospects of young people while assisting the community to thrive.

“That is simply not achievable with the current schools due to their age and condition and the consequences of the devastating fire at Braeview, where costly temporary accommodation is still in use.

“The campus is the most important investment in the city’s future. Its delivery will allow us to improve educational and community facilities which will tackle significant challenges of poverty.”

Benchmark construction costs for the development have been examined and reviewed by the Scottish Futures Trust as part of the negotiations on the grant award. Scottish Government contributions towards the new community campus are ‘likely’ to increase significantly from the £31 million originally envisaged to over £40m, and a verbal update on the final position will be provided at committee, the council said.

A report on the project explained that the response to Covid-19, Brexit, and impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine have led to the significant increase in construction costs, shortages in the supply of materials and labour, and rising energy prices.

Children and families convener at Dundee City Council, councillor Stewart Hunter, said, “This is a golden opportunity to transform educational and community facilities and replace two outdated buildings with a campus fit for the years ahead.

“We have come such a long way in the design of the campus, with pupils playing an important role on the project board. The campus will provide an inspiring educational environment carefully designed to support learning developments in the longer term.”

Dundee City Council said that facilities at the campus would support partnership working with Dundee & Angus College to provide senior phase education curricular experiences for young people with complex additional support needs.