Work has begun to build two new community schools in the Black Isle, representing an investment by The Highland Council of £6.8 million. A new school is being built at Resolis to replace Cullicudden and Newhall Primary Schools. Cullicudden pupils, Liam Aiton and Katlyn Munro and Newhall pupils, Bethany Moore and Asia Robinson-Irons helped Councillor David Alston to cut the first turfs at the new school site.
£3.3 million is being spent at Resolis on four primary classrooms; a resource/library area; pupil support room; nursery room including quiet room; protected nursery play area; multi purpose hall; general purpose/dining room (separate from hall); cloakrooms, toilets and showers; hard play area and full sized football grass pitch; cycle compound, car parking and drop off.
Work is expected to be completed by early April 2007.
At Culbokie, long-serving teacher, Elspeth Weir was given the honour of cutting the first turf in recognition of her 27 years service at the school. Elspeth retires at the end of this session. She was assisted by the youngest girl and boy at the school Grace Munro and Thomas Coggins.
£ 3.5 million is being spent at Culbokie on six primary classrooms; a Resource/library area; pupil support room; nursery room including quiet room; protected nursery play area; community multi purpose hall - larger than usual specification, for community use in evenings and weekends, and non school days general purpose/dining room (separate from hall); cloakrooms toilets and showers; hard play area and grass pitch; cycle compound, car parking and drop off.
A dedicated community room has also been provided. The hall is also larger than normal for community use in evenings and weekends, and non school days.
Work is expected to be completed by end March 2007
Councillor Alston said: “Culbokie is a fast growing village and the new school, with its range of facilities, will be central to the active community which is developing there. Resolis is one of the most densely populated rural areas in the Highlands and the new school will ensure the continuation of primary education and early years provision in this rural setting.”
Bruce Robertson, Director of Education Culture and Sport, said: “The existing schools at Culbokie, Cullicudden and Newhall have served their communities well over the years but it is time to provide staff, pupils and the wider community with surroundings that match the quality of the teaching provided and will serve the community for many years to come.”
The new schools are two of 11 schools being built in a second education PPP scheme, valued at £134 million. New secondary schools are being built at Dingwall Academy, Kinlochleven High School, Portree High School and Millburn Academy, Inverness. Also in the programme is the construction of a new school for pupils with additional support needs in Inverness; a new purpose built primary school for Gaelic pupils at Inverness, a new primary school for Inshes, Inverness, as well as new primary schools at Kinlochleven, and Cawdor.
The 11 schools are being built by Alpha Schools (Highland) Ltd, a consortium of Morrison PLC and Noble Fund Managers.
The two new Black Isle schools are being built by Tulloch Construction under a sub contract arrangement. Tulloch, who have experience in school PPP projects in Edinburgh, Glasgow and South Lanarkshire, is also building replacement primary and secondary schools at Kinlochleven and a new primary school at Cawdor.
Paul Bottrill, Director of Alpha Schools, said: “We’re great advocates of the collaborative and long-term nature of PFI projects which we believe brings significant mutual benefits. The project is going well. Work is now underway on eight of the 11 projects and we look forward to working alongside Highland Council to completion of the schools and their ongoing maintenance.”
Derek Chambers, Morrison Construction's Project Director for Highland Schools, said: "When Morrison was awarded the overall construction contract part of the attraction to our client was our local roots and the boost this would bring to the local economy. Now we are pleased to bring other local sub-contractors, such as Tulloch, in to work with us with a knock on effect for jobs."