Mearns Academy set to be officially opened

Aberdeenshire Council have said that all of the groups may use the facilities at the new academy.

Aberdeenshire Council have said that all of the groups may use the facilities at the new academy.

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Mearns Academy Community Campus will be officially opened this Friday October 3, with a range of activities planned over the weekend.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell and the Provost of Aberdeenshire Jill Webster will open the state-of-the-art facility at 1pm on Friday.

The library. ''Copyright Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES

The library. ''Copyright Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES

The official opening will be followed by a community weekend celebrating the new campus and a range of activities will be on offer for members of the public to try.

Mr Russell and Provost Webster will be joined by around 50 invited guests and local school pupils for the official opening. The Campus opened for lessons and to the public in August this year.

Since then, more than 600 pupils have had classes in the new building with hundreds more local residents using the other facilities available, including the sports hall, fitness suite and other rooms.

During the opening a plaque will be unveiled, before a ceremony which will also recognise the work of all those involved in the planning and building of the campus, as well as the contributions to the facility made by local artist Mary Bourne who created a range of artwork featuring designs by pupils reflecting on their local surroundings.

Guests invited to attend the official ceremony include local parliamentarians, councillors, Scottish Futures Trust officials and senior council officials.

Cabinet Secretary for Education, Michael Russell, said: “I’m delighted to be part of the official opening of the new Mearns Academy Community Campus which has already proved to be an excellent addition to the local community since opening last month.

“The Scottish Government is committed to delivering good quality, well designed, sustainable schools through the £1.25 billion Schools for the Future programme.

“I’m pleased we could contribute £9.7 million to the construction of this school and its facilities.

Aberdeenshire Provost Jill Webster said: “This is a state of the art facility, and I am very pleased that we are soon to see it officially opened.

“It has been fantastic to see the campus come together and continue to be shaped by the local community who now have access to top class sporting and community facilities.”

Work began on the facility in September 2012 which includes a four-court games hall, a separate gym and fitness suite indoors and a full-size all-weather pitch, full-size grass pitch and development pitch outdoors.

Other facilities include a theatre with capacity for over 250 people, a canteen area and coffee bar, public library and a number of multi-purpose community rooms.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee, Councillor Isobel Davidson, said: “It will be very exciting to see Mearns Academy Community Campus officially opened.

“This project could not have happened without the support and feedback of the people of the Mearns area and I hope they enjoy this facility for many years to come.”

The replacement Mearns Academy was approved at a cost of £23,377,662 and funding was sourced from Aberdeenshire Council’s Capital Plan with a contribution of £9.74 million from the Scottish Government.

The facility, is much needed and replaces the former Mearns Academy, parts of which are more than a century old.