New secondary school build honours first former Rector.

(left to right) Pupils Harley Lea, Rhyce Ashcroft, Nadia McGuinness, Corey Bell,
Beth Fergusson, Lily Skinner with Mrs Adrianne Meikle (centre) at the turf cutting.
(left to right) Pupils Harley Lea, Rhyce Ashcroft, Nadia McGuinness, Corey Bell, Beth Fergusson, Lily Skinner with Mrs Adrianne Meikle (holding spade) at the turf cutting.

The first Rector of Alness Academy Robert Meikle, will be honoured this week at a turf cutting ceremony to mark works starting on a new state-of-the-art secondary school at Alness Academy.

Mrs Adrianne Meikle (widow of Mr Meikle) will cut the turfs at the new school site on Thursday evening accompanied by 10 pupils who will represent 1st and 6th year pupils attending the new school which is expected to be completed in Spring 2020.

Councillor Andrew Baxter, Chair of Highland Council’s Care, Learning and Housing Committee said: “The Highland Council is committed to providing the very best learning environments for all our young people and we are delighted that this important work at Alness Academy is beginning. It is a fitting choice of the Local Stakeholder’s Project Group that Mr Meikle is honoured at the turf cutting.”

Along with school and education staff; also attending the turf cutting event will be local Ward Members Cllrs Carolyn Wilson, Michael Finlayson, Pauline Munro, Maxine Smith and representatives from hub North Scotland Limited who are delivering the project for Highland Council and lead contractor, Kier Construction Scotland.

At the new Alness Academy turf cutting

At the new Alness Academy turf cutting

The new Alness Academy project is part of the Scottish Government ‘Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme’, managed by the Scottish Futures Trust. The Council welcomes the significant financial support from Scottish Government and the programme support from Scottish Futures Trust which combined, are allowing the new Alness Academy to be built.

Designed by JM Architects, the brand new Academy will be home to 600 pupils reflecting the growth in the area and will include facilities for children with special needs. The building will comprise a two storey main teaching block, with kitchen, dining and assembly spaces; and a sports/community building housing a 6 lane 25m swimming pool, 4 court games hall and gymnasium with associated changing rooms, storage rooms and pool plant room. Two new 3G artificial pitches and informal playing fields, a learning garden and a greenhouse are included, alongside the retained rugby pitch.

The new school will be built beside the existing Alness Academy, which will remain operational during this time.  A range of new community facilities at the school will be easily accessible for both pupils and the wider community out of school hours.

Area Operations Director of Kier Construction Scotland, Sean O'Callaghan, said: “We are delighted that Kier has been appointed to build this key educational facility for the community of Alness. We will be working closely with The Highland Council and hub North Scotland on this modern education and community facility, which will not only greatly enhance the lives of the students, but will also benefit everyone within the area by encouraging greater access to learning, sports and community amenities.”

Michael Padzinski, Chief Executive of hub North Scotland Limited, added: “We are working in partnership with The Highland Council and our Supply Chain to deliver the new Alness Academy which will provide an excellent teaching and learning environment, combined with benefit and opportunity for the whole community in Ross and Cromarty.”

20 Jun 2018
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