Work on the new £9 million Aviemore Primary School is set to start in May of next year and be open by July 2011.
Located centrally in the village, the school will feature a range of community facilities as well as:-
• 10 primary classrooms, 2 general purpose classrooms and a resources area;
• Nursery and childcare facilities (with independent access);
• Assisted support needs facilities;
• Multi-purpose sports hall;
• Kitchen and dining facilities;
• School library (joint facility with community library)
• Special needs unit resources
Community facilities will comprise:
• Reception, office and café/servery;
• Community library (joint facility with school library);
• Community room;
• Fitness suite and changing facilities;
• Learning centre;
• Service point reception and interview rooms
• Meeting room.
The project has been designed by The Highland Council’s Housing and Property Service on behalf of the Director of Education, Culture and Sport, and has included community input and consultation.
Its design responds to the requirements of the range of services to be provided and the requirements of the users of the building, and will provide a focus for the community.
The main elevation, containing the Service Point and Library, will take advantage of views towards the Cairngorms.
The building is planned with a central area incorporating the community facilities and various “wings” reflecting the service areas. Each classroom has an access to the exterior and a teaching patio area. The teaching wings have a multi-use teaching space accessible to all the classrooms in that wing.
The site retains an area of birch woodland as a wildlife corridor and to enhance curriculum opportunities for the school and the environment for the community. In addition, the sports pitch will be replaced and linked to changing facilities within the new building.
As well as offering a barrier free environment, as far as possible within the constraints of security, this highly insulated building uses local materials in the façade and incorporates a number of environmental design features. These include solar screens to shade the various courtyards and external teaching areas. Gables project to protect the building and form both bicycle shelters and weather protected areas.
Its central location within the village will encourage pedestrian and cycle use and facilitate a move away from dependency on motor transport.
ECS Chairman, Bill Fernie, said: ‘This shows the Council’s commitment to a 21st century education for people living in the Aviemore area and is an excellent example of an integrated school and community facility. It is the first new school to be built in the Cairngorms National Park and will be an example of good eco-friendly practice’.
The Biomass Boiler system will supply hot water and ‘district’ heating to the school and community facilities as well as the Glen Centre and the adjacent sheltered housing complex. Rain water will be collected and stored for toilet flushing, and SUDS used for storm water drainage.
Teaching areas are naturally lit using roof lights which open to allow the building to be ventilated naturally, and wind catcher vented hoods on the roof will draw fresh air to the rear of the classrooms and shared resource areas. Mechanical ventilation will only be provided where required to comply with regulations.
Local Councillor, Gregor Rimell, said: ‘Over the past two or three years, this has been an exemplar of good community engagement and communication, where each issue that has arisen has been properly addressed and resolved. My fellow Ward Members and I are delighted that this is happening and look forward to having a first class school with excellent community facilities in Aviemore’.
Willie McKenna, Chairman of the Aviemore Community Centre Company, said: “This is the greatest thing to happen in Aviemore to bring the community together for 40 years.”