After a year of construction work, Morrison Construction, part of Galliford Try group, has this week handed over, on schedule, a brand new school for pupils with additional support needs in Inverness. Drummond School is the eighth of the eleven new schools projects to be completed under The Highland Council's second PPP scheme.
The new £14 million school has been specifically designed to cater for the special needs of the children and to provide a warm and welcoming environment for up to 80 children from nursery through primary to secondary age.
Even before the building design started careful thinking and research on all elements of the building were carried out to ensure the appropriate care and attention were translated into the completed school.
The new school is dominated by two long, wide corridors running from one side to the other and from the front to the back of the building. Navigable by cutting-edge way-finding devices such as grooved handrails, textured wall coverings and curved entrances to rooms.
The school features 14 classrooms, a swimming and hydrotherapy pool, library, IT room, home economics room, music and art rooms, sensory rooms, soft play rooms and meeting rooms.
Additionally, older pupils will get a chance to learn how to live independently in a flat complete with lounge/dining and kitchen area, bedroom and toilet facilities, helping them to make the transition from education to independent living.
Derek Chambers, Morrison Construction’s Project Director for the Highland Schools project, said: “The new Drummond School has raised the bar significantly for special needs facilities and is attracting interest from the wider educational establishment. It is a terrific bespoke space, providing a safe and comfortable learning environment for the pupils.”
Councillor Bill Fernie, The Highland Council’s Chairman of Education, Culture and Sport, said: “We are delighted that Drummond School will be opening its doors to pupils after the summer holidays. It signifies a real investment by the Council into the educational needs and aspirations of young people with additional support needs. I know that there is real excitement in the air with everyone looking forward to moving into the modern, airy and spacious building. I see it becoming very much a flagship facility of which the Highlands can be proud of, offering excellent bespoke facilities and a learning environment that is second to none.”
Projects still under construction include Kinlochleven High and Primary (on schedule to handover this month) and Millburn Academy (handing over in September).
The 11 PPP2 Initiative schools are being developed by Alpha Schools (Highland) Ltd. Alpha Schools (Highland) Ltd is a consortium of Galliford Try Investments and Noble Fund.