School plans go before committee

Councillors in Aberdeenshire will be asked to progress a range of school refurbishments and building programmes when they meet today (Thursday June 21.)

The Policy & Resources Committee will receive five separate reports asking for approval to progress school building projects totalling more than £45 million and bid for a further £7.8 million from the Scottish Government.

The proposals, if approved, would see major extension and refurbishment works at Kemnay Academy, the start on site of the new Mearns Academy in July, and a new primary school in Kintore.

These projects are on top of an exciting programme of school building projects which are currently being planned, including construction of a new academy in Ellon, with work due to begin in early 2013, Alford Academy, Drumoak School and Fraserburgh Pool, currently under construction and on schedule for completion in January 2013.

The proposals include £11.6 million for extensions and alterations to Kemnay Academy to ensure that the school can cope with projected increases in school rolls over the next five years. In order to meet curriculum requirements, provide teaching accommodation and PE provision to national guidance, the plans will see the creation of additional general teaching classrooms, music rooms, a gymnasium, Support for Learners facilities, changing shower and toilet accommodation, administration offices and pupil social areas.

Councillors will also be asked to agree project costs of £23 million for a replacement Mearns Academy and to award the tender to Lend Lease. Works are expected to start on site in July 2012 for completion in June 2014. The plans include a new school to accommodate up to 640 pupils with the capacity to extend to up to 840 pupils, a new community library and community learning and development accommodation. The project will be part funded by the Scottish Futures Trust.

Plans for a new primary school at Kintore will also be put to councillors, who will be asked to approve a preferred site to the east of Midmill Business Park, Kintore and to approve costs of £10.4 million with a suggested start date of 2015. Councillors will also be asked to consider making a submission to the Scottish Government for new school funding, to help fund new primary schools at Markethill and Kinellar.