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NEW BALDRAGON ACADEMY OPENS FOR PUPILS

The new £28.7 million Baldragon Academy opeeds its doors for business on today (Feb 22) as pupils enter the building for the first time.  Completion of the new secondary school finalises an educational campus for the area. This includes the already-opened £8.1 million replacement for Sidlaw View Primary School and Jessie Porter Nursery.

Dundee City Council children and families service convener Councillor Gregor Murray joined  head teacher Kenny Hearn to celebrate the first day of the new school.

Councillor Murray said: “This impressive replacement for Baldragon Academy shows how we are investing for the future of our young people through an ambitious building programme

“The new school is providing state of the art facilities to meet the challenges that our pupils will face in the years ahead.

“The new Baldragon Academy, along with the nursery and primary schools, is another major enhancement of learning and teaching facilities in Dundee

“This educational campus will provide an inspirational learning environment for pupils ranging in age from nursery children to young people preparing to leave school to take up new opportunities.”

The project was led by hub East Central Scotland in partnership with Dundee City Council, Scottish Futures Trust and Robertson Tayside.

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive at hub East Central Scotland, said, ”We are proud to have managed the successful delivery of the project from initial design to completion and it’s great to see staff and pupils in their new school, which has been built to the highest standards to meet the needs of the community it serves.”

 

JOHN SWINNEY OPENS WAID COMMUNITY CAMPUS

Waid Community Campus was officially opened by Deputy First Minister John Swinney at a ceremony with almost the whole school community looking on.

The unique design of the building, with its central atrium and impressive “Hellerup” stairs, meant that most of the school could witness the official ceremony from the balconies and be a part of the historic occasion.  The audience also included the three previous headteachers of Waid Academy.

Mr Swinney addressed those assembled saying: “Waid Academy has been at the heart of the East Neuk throughout its  150 year history and this new building has extended that role in new and exciting ways, hosting a wide range of community facilities all under one roof. I am pleased that the Scottish Government was able to provide funding of £12.3 million from our Schools for the Future programme to help make this happen.

“I am very impressed by the way the building’s cutting-edge design complements the ethos of openness, inclusiveness and welcome which Waid Community Campus offers. The young people I have met today are making full use of this wonderful building and I wish them all the best for their future.”

The project is the third school to have been delivered for Fife Council and the Scottish Government by hub East Central Scotland in partnership with BAM Construction.

The building has been fully open since August and the Waid Academy pupils are already benefiting from a fantastic new learning experience in their state-of-the-art high school. The wider community is also loving the new facility which includes a council customer service point, library, sports and leisure facilities, learning opportunities and a hugely popular community cafe – all under one roof.

Convener of Fife Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee, Cllr. Fay Sinclair commented: “Bringing a range of services together with this amazing new school makes it much easier for local people to access the services they need.

“New sports, learning and community facilities and classes supported by Fife

College, along with a new library are all here now in one building.  It is great to see the local community enjoying the benefits of the new Campus.”

Rector Iain Hughes is delighted with the new building. He commented: “We have all settled into our new home, getting used to new ways of working and we are still finding new and exciting ways to use this very flexible building.

“I’ve always been immensely proud of our young people, who are a credit to their families and communities, and I’m so pleased that they have been given such an outstanding building to learn in. They are taking full advantage of the learning spaces, which are supporting the innovative teaching and learning provided by our staff.”

Fife Council along with the Scottish Government invested £24.3 million in the new Waid Community Campus, providing services for the whole community. It is one of six secondary schools and two primaries which make up Fife Council’s £250m+ Building Fife’s Future Programme.

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland said: “This is a fantastic new facility that has been purpose built to meet the needs of the local community. Our teams worked closely with Fife Council, their wider stakeholders and BAM Construction to manage the project to successful completion ahead of programme and on budget.”

Construction of new Muirfield and Ladyloan primary schools underway

Work to replace two Arbroath primary schools as part of an ambitious multi-million pound project was marked by not one but two official sit visits.

Children and Learning vice-convener, Cllr Derek Wann attended first at Muirfield Primary School and then at Ladyloan Primary School to tour the exciting developments underway at both school sites. He was joined by pupils and staff, fellow local councillors and council officers, as well as representatives from hub East Central Scotland, contractors Robertson Tayside and the Scottish Futures Trust.

Cllr Wann said: “The Arbroath Schools Project represents a significant investment in our local schools estate as well as our local community, our local children and their futures.

“It has seen the delivery of new schools at Timmergreens and Warddykes. We forge ahead with replacing Muirfield and Ladyloan schools, where work got underway before Christmas. Later this year, work will also begin on a shared campus for Hayshead and St Thomas primary schools.

“These are exciting times as we continue the transformation of our educational facilities. We are committed to ensuring that the schools resources we provide to our children in Angus present them with the best opportunities to realise their potential.”

Both the new Muirfield Primary School and the new Ladyloan Primary School are being constructed within the existing schools’ grounds so that they can remain operational and the impact upon pupils and staff is minimised while the work is being carried out.

Construction of the new buildings should be complete by the end of this year, with children and staff scheduled to move in at both new schools in time for the Spring Term (Jan 2019). The existing buildings will be demolished and each replaced by a new car park and sports pitch. This work is scheduled for completion by the end of May 2019.

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland, commented: “It’s great to see the project progressing well and we look forward to delivering two high quality news school buildings for the community. Our teams work closely with Angus Council to support their education and learning strategy and this project follows the recent successful completion of community school campuses in Brechin and Forfar.”

Kevin Dickson, Managing Director, Robertson Tayside, said: “These two projects will have a major impact on future generations in Angus. We look forward to engaging with the council and community – including future pupils of the two schools – throughout the construction phase and beyond. We will be working with all stakeholders, including our facilities management business, and I have no doubt that the completed schools will be of the highest quality.”

Gemma Boggs, education delivery director at Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), added: “Ladyloan and Muirfield primary schools takes the number of schools to have entered construction under the £1.8bn Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme, which we manage of behalf of Scottish Government, to over 100.

“This is a very exciting time and these two primaries are great examples of the evolution of school design that has been seen over the programme. They promote the creation and delivery of world-class, learning environments that not only meet future educational needs but the communities they serve as well.”

Official Opening of Forfar Community Campus

Forfar Community Campus was officially declared open as Angus Depute Provost Colin Brown was joined by one of the school’s younger pupils, first year Stephen Langdon, in revealing the ceremonial plaque before an audience that included invited dignitaries, guests and pupils.

The Depute Provost said: “Forfar Community Campus is a multi-million pound investment in all our futures – a modern campus purpose-built for our pupils and everyone in our community.

“It will provide an environment where our young people can excel and develop the life-skills that will serve them in good stead as they pass into adulthood. It is also a place where people of all ages can gather to enjoy a great wealth of sport, leisure and entertainment, as well as enjoying a variety of learning opportunities and one another’s company.

“This state-of-the-art facility is the beating heart of the Forfar community, uniting the rich 200-year history of Forfar Academy with the modern facilities provided by ANGUSalive’s exciting culture, leisure and sports provision and the various adult and youth groups that are run by our communities team.

“Partnership working has driven this project from the outset. Partnership working between hub East Central Scotland, Robertson Construction, the Design Team and Angus Council that has ensured that Forfar Community Campus is accessible to all.

“It is a place for all the community. A place we can all be proud of.”

The community campus accommodates Forfar Academy, Angusalive and the council’s communities team, along with Dundee and Angus College and the wider community.

The ambitions of all those involved in delivering the campus was to provide a modern, accessible, safe and secure environment to provide the best of culture, leisure and sport facilities for the school, local clubs and group and the wider community.

Forfar Academy’s unique and individual identity is retained and enhanced within the campus, which provides the space, resources and technology to learn and grow.

The same is true for the community, through a programme of learning activities provided at the campus, with subjects including employability, adult literacy, English for adult speakers of other languages and youth activities.

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland, who developed the building in partnership with Angus Council, said: “We worked closely with Angus Council to deliver this major project at best value for the community. It’s fantastic to see the Campus now in daily use providing a modern learning environment, along with excellent sport and leisure facilities for all.”

The culture, sports and leisure facilities delivered by the charitable trust ANGUSalive are extensive and superb.

Kirsty Hunter, Chief executive, ANGUSalive said: “ANGUSalive is thrilled to be able to offer enhanced sport and leisure facilities to our communities from the first-class amenities at Forfar Community Campus. As we propel our aim to inspire healthy, active and creative lifestyle choices; we are starting to achieve this through expansion of our junior and adult activities, including new events and activities such as children’s holiday camps and adult group free weight sessions. We now also have more bookable space to host group meetings and little ones’ birthday parties – as well as any group performance

“We will continue to engage closely with the school and community to maximise the benefits for all of Forfar Community Campus.”

The campus boasts an impressive range of facilities for the community ,including –  a 25m, six-lane swimming pool, a studio pool with a movable depth floor, a double main games hall, gymnasium, a 50-station fitness suite, dance studios, sauna and steam room, a squash court, grass seven-a-side pitches and two full size football pitches (one grass, one floodlit and synthetic), and a floodlit MUGA (multi-use games area) pitch, which includes three tennis courts.

There is a café operated by Madisons of Montrose, a crèche and various meeting rooms available for booking. And there is also a Theatre that provides a performance venue for drama and concerts, as well as other events, including conferences, workshops and meetings.

Deputy First Minister breaks ground on new secondary school at Bertha Park

Set to open in August 2019, Bertha Park High School will be the first additional secondary school to be built in Perth and Kinross since 1972. Perth and Kinross is one of the fastest-growing areas of Scotland and, as a result, Perth Secondary schools will be near to capacity by 2021. A review of the school estate identified a new Perth secondary school as a priority. The new Bertha Park High School reflects the projected growth in population and resulting housebuilding and infrastructure required to support this.

The new secondary school catchment area will include pupils from the Local Development Plan (LDP) housing areas at Bertha Park, Almond Valley and Perth West. They will be joined by the primary school catchment areas serving Auchtergaven, Logiealmond, Methven, Pitcairn, Ruthvenfield, Oudenarde, Forgandenny, Forteviot and Dunbarney.

Mr Swinney said: “Bertha Park marks the 100th school in our £1.8bn Schools for the Future programme and I am very pleased to get work underway on this milestone project.

“We are providing £19.6m towards the school as part of our aim to ensure our children and young people have access to inspiring environments that enable all of them to engage with their learning. We have made fantastic progress and have wonderful, award-winning schools across all parts of Scotland, which stand as testament to that.

“Bertha Park will be a very welcome addition to the school estate and I look forward to seeing the project once it is complete.”

Councillor Caroline Shiers, Convener of the Lifelong Learning Committee, added: “This project will be a unique opportunity to build a new school community from the ground up.

“We look forward to welcoming our first cohorts into the innovative learning environment that will be Bertha Park High School. The Council will work with the parents and carers of the young people who will become pupils at the new school, and continue to communicate with them throughout this process to ensure any questions are fully addressed.”

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive of hub East Central Scotland, commented: “It is great to see the project progressing well and we look forward to delivering a high-quality building for the community next year. We work closely with Perth & Kinross Council to support their education and learning strategy, and this is now our sixth major school project in the region.”

The project forms part of Perth & Kinross Council’s ongoing capital programme of school upgrades and improvements through hub East Central Scotland Ltd (hubco) to enhance the environment for learning and teaching across the area.

 

CARE HUB CELEBRATES NEW MILESTONE

A topping out ceremony at the new Stirling Care Village marked the final tiles being placed on the roof of the new Care Hub building. The hub will have more than 100 beds and will provide short-term care, assessment or rehabilitation to older people who require additional support following an illness or operation. Set in a comfortable, homely environment it aims to help older people recover, regain their independence and, in the majority of cases, return to their own homes.

Also being built in the grounds of Stirling Community Hospital is the Primary and Urgent Care Centre which will provide more modern, spacious accommodation for a number of existing health services including Minor Injuries services, X-ray facilities and GP out-of-hours services. It will also house a number of local GP practices, which are relocating to the centre.

The new Stirling Care Village is a £35m development, which is a joint venture between Stirling Council, NHS Forth Valley, the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Integration Joint Board and the Scottish Ambulance Service, who plan to re-locate their existing ambulance station there from the Riverside area of the city. Forth Valley College is also keen to explore opportunities to offer local young people who are considering a career in the health and care sector, a range of training and volunteering opportunities within the new Care Village.

The Care Village will also support the integration of local health and social care services, making it easier for staff to work together to deliver better co-ordinated, more joined up care to local people – a key aim of the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership.

Robertson Construction are the main contractors and the project is being developed through hub East Central Scotland (a joint partnership between public and private sector organisations aimed at developing and delivering better local services across East Central Scotland). The majority of facilities are expected to be completed by autumn 2018 with the ambulance station and final site works completed by autumn 2019.

Julia Swan, Vice-Chair. NHS Forth Valley said: “I am delighted that construction work on this important new facility is progressing well. A lot of detailed planning has taken place to reach this important milestone and it is exciting to see both the new buildings on the site take shape.”

Councillor Scott Farmer, Leader of Stirling Council and Chair of the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Integration Joint Board, said: “I was delighted to attend the topping out ceremony for the new Care Hub building and witness another important step in the development of Stirling Care Village.  The Care Hub building will be of huge benefit to older people who require support after an illness or operation, helping them regain their independence and, hopefully, eventually return to their own homes.  It is exciting to witness the new buildings on the site take shape, as the construction of Stirling Care Village represents the future of quality care and health services in the Stirling area.”

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland said: “The project is making excellent progress and we continue to work closely with all of the partners, to manage its successful delivery on time and on budget.”

Bruce Crawford MSP for Stirling said: “I am delighted to attend the topping out ceremony at the Stirling Care Village with the finial tiles being fitted onto the roof of the Care Hub building. This £35 million development is a remarkable achievement and will go a long way in securing the future of care in our local area.  I commend the efforts of everyone involved in the development of the Care Village and look forward to the majority of facilities near completion over the next few months.”

Dr Ken Thomson, Principal of Forth Valley College, said: “It is exciting to see the construction of the new Care Hub reaching the topping out stage. We can’t wait to see the entire project completed, so we can begin work on helping to train the next generation of NHS professionals who will use this wonderful facility to care for the people of Forth Valley.”

FINANCE SECRETARY SEES NEW BALDRAGON NEAR COMPLETION

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution Derek Mackay was given a guided tour of the replacement for Baldragon Academy as the £28.7 million project nears completion.

Dundee City Council leader Councillor John Alexander and children and families service convener Councillor Gregor Murray joined with head teacher Kenny Hearn and senior pupils to mark the occasion.

Pupils will move into the new Baldragon Academy in February next year in a move that will complete an educational campus for the area. This includes the already-opened £8.1 million replacement for Sidlaw View Primary School and Jessie Porter Nursery.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: “Investment in education is an investment in the future of Scotland’s young people and the Government is delighted to have contributed £19.5m through Scotland’s Schools for the Future Programme towards these new state of the art facilities at Baldragon Academy.  This fantastic new school will provide pupils with the environment and equipment necessary to reach their potential and realise their ambitions.

“Closing the attainment gap and improving education remains our number one priority and our focus to ensure every child, no matter their circumstances, has an equal chance to succeed is unwavering.

“We can only prioritise education and ensure our schools have the funding they need to deliver these ambitions if Scotland’s budget is protected. The Autumn Budget is an opportunity for the UK Government to ensure we get our fair share of funding to deal with the continued economic uncertainty caused by impending Brexit and meet the pressures our public services are facing as a result.”

Councillor Alexander said: “This impressive replacement for Baldragon Academy shows how we are investing for the future of our young people through an ambitious building programme

“The new school will provide state of the art facilities to meet the opportunities and challenges that our pupils will face in the years ahead. This is yet another major enhancement of learning and teaching facilities across the city.”

Councillor Murray added: “This new educational campus is a huge leap forward in terms of the quality of local school buildings and it will provide an inspirational learning environment.”

The project is being led by hub East Central Scotland in partnership with Dundee City Council, Scottish Futures Trust and Robertson Tayside.

hub East Central Scotland is managing the delivery of the project from initial design to completion and its Chief Executive, Gary Bushnell, said: ”We have made excellent progress on the project and look forward to handing over another school building in Dundee very soon that is of the highest quality and built to specifically meet the needs of pupils, staff and the local community.”

Kevin Dickson, managing director, Robertson Tayside, said:  “Working on the new Baldragon Academy has been a pleasure for the whole Robertson team and you can feel the excitement growing in the community as we near completion. The shared campus is state-of-the-art and I have no doubt it will be embraced by both pupils and staff. As a modern learning environment, it will have few rivals and I am sure it will serve many generations to come.”

Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries Named Scotland’s Best building

Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries, delivered by hub East Central Scotland for Fife Council, has been named the Best Building in Scotland for 2017.

Richard Murphy Architects accepted the Andrew Doolan prize from the Royal Incorporation of Architects after the building was chosen from a shortlist of 12 projects.

Built by BAM Construction, the new £12.4 million facility brings an impressive new focal point to the Heritage Quarter and wider town centre.

The museum adjoins the world’s first Carnegie library and includes a striking new glass structure. It incorporates three exhibition galleries, café, local history space and kid’s library over two floors.

It is the third award for the project, which earlier this year won Building of the Year and the Large Project category awards from the Edinburgh Architectural Society.

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland, said: “We are extremely proud to have delivered such a vibrant facility in the heart of the community.  It supports the regeneration of Dunfermline and is bringing new visitors to the town.”

Work started in December 2014 and Fife Council committed £8.25 million to the project, along with £2.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £1 million from the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust.

New Additional Support Needs Secondary School Opened

Scotland’s newest Additional Support Needs School (ASN), Carrongrange High School in Grangemouth, was opened by Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skill, John Swinney.

Offering places for up to 190 secondary pupils, the new school boasts some of the most advanced design features and support equipment for ASN pupils. The new build is located in the existing grounds of Moray Primary School, covers approximately 6050 square metres and is a replacement for the current Carrongrange School located in Larbert.

Built at a cost of £18m, construction started in February 2016 and was completed in July 2017 with the first pupils admitted in August 2017. It is part of the Scottish Government’s £1.8bn Schools for the Future programme.

All subject areas of the Curriculum for Excellence can be taught in the school including Science, Home Economics, Art, Drama, Music, Computing and many more. Specialist facilities also have been included such as a beauty therapy suite, a bike maintenance classroom, a teaching pool and hydrotherapy pool and fully equipped modern classrooms with Smart technology.  Desks, sinks, hobs and screens are fully height adjustable.

It also has a special ‘training flat’ that will be used to develop life skills with young people.

The school has many environmental features such as lighting sensors; under floor heating; high levels of insulation; a biomass boiler to provide heating throughout the school.

Carrongrange Headteacher Gillian Robertson said:  “Pupils are thriving since coming into the new school and are building their knowledge and confidence every day with what’s on offer here. The pupils have settled in well since returning in August and the official opening marks a highlight for staff and pupils in an eventful year.

Councillor Adanna McCue, Falkirk Council’s spokesperson for Education said: “Carrongrange is an excellent environment for pupils to learn and achieve their potential in all curricular lead activities and much more. On my first visit I was amazed at the building and facilities. It is a fantastic place of learning. I am sure all pupils and staff will get so much from this modern designed and technological facility.”

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland, said: “Our team worked closely with Falkirk Council to manage the project from initial design and procurement through to successful completion on time and budget.  The new school provides a high quality learning environment that encourages pupils to ‘be all they can be’, at best value to the community.”

Donald MacDonald, Managing Director, Ogilvie Construction, said: “We are proud to have delivered a high quality building that has such an important role in the community.  We worked with staff, pupils and the Council throughout the construction process and they will now benefit from a bright, modern facility, purpose built to meet their needs.”

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, said: “At the outset of our £1.8bn Schools for the Future programme in 2009, we originally aimed to build or refurbish 55 schools across Scotland – we have now more than doubled that commitment and it is fantastic to see so many of these wonderful buildings, such as the new Carrongrange High School, coming into use.

“More widely, since 2007, 651 school building projects have been completed, which is almost double the amount completed over the preceding eight years.

“This is part of our aim to provide our children and young people with inspiring environments which enable all of them to engage with their learning and, which in turn, help to raise attainment. I wish staff and pupils all the best for the future in their new school.”

The Countdown is on to Perth Theatre’s Reopening Panto!

With just 75 days to go until Perth Theatre’s reopening panto, the countdown is on towards a new generation of theatre in Perth!

Gwilym Gibbons, chief executive of Horsecross Arts, Perth Theatre artistic director, Lu Kemp, Council Leader Ian Campbell from project partners Perth & Kinross Council, plus other partners and supporters pressed the button to launch the 75-day countdown to the first performance of Aladdin.

The countdown will be projected onto Perth Theatre’s Mill Street façade and will be visible after dark from now until the run of Aladdin starts on Saturday 9 December.

The £16.6m transformation of Perth’s historic theatre is nearing completion with the Box Office, café and bar in the restored and redeveloped venue due to reopen on Monday 13 November. From that date, in the run up to panto time, there will be a series of opportunities for members of the public to test the restored and redeveloped theatre, peek back stage, explore the building and check out the performance spaces.

Gwilym Gibbons said: “It is incredibly exciting to reach this stage in the transformation process. With 75 days to go until our reopening production of Aladdin, we are counting the days until we welcome the people of Perth back into their restored and redeveloped theatre!”

Councillor Ian Campbell, Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, said: “It is an exciting time for Perth as so many major projects are progressing at different stages, and they all will provide a major boost to the city.  With the reopening of the theatre and the first production getting ready for an audience, it’s a welcome step forward.  Over the next few years we will see a number of positive changes happening across the city centre, and I think it is fitting that the first project to reach completion and kick things off is the renovation of one of Perth’s most iconic buildings.”

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland, who are leading the delivery of the project, said: “We are all looking forward to handing over the newly transformed theatre, which will once again take its place as one of the city’s most unique cultural venues.”

Kevin Dickson, managing director, Robertson Tayside, said: “Being so closely involved with the transformation of Perth Theatre has been an absolute privilege for everyone at Robertson. It’s exciting to know that the theatre will reopen in just a couple of months and I am sure that once they step inside, the public will agree that all the hard work has been more than worth it.”

Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, commented:

“Perth Theatre plays a hugely important role in the life of the local community so it will be wonderful to see its doors open again welcoming visitors of all ages to the panto. Thanks to players of the National Lottery, they will be delighted and entertained in an auditorium which has been beautifully restored to its Edwardian heyday.”

Philip Deverell, Director, Strategy at Creative Scotland said: “The restoration of Perth Theatre’s beautiful Edwardian auditorium, and the creation of state of the art facilities for audiences, artists and staff will create a vibrant and welcoming theatre space for everyone to enjoy. The new theatre will encourage experimentation and creativity, whilst nurturing talent, and complementing its internationally recognised sister venue Perth Concert Hall.”

Perth Theatre will mark its official reopening with the first public performance of Aladdin on Saturday 9 December at 2pm.

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