South Lanarkshire Council is investing £812 million in upgrading facilities at all the primary schools in the region. The programme is around 50% of the way through so far, with fifty new schools built and three refurbishments now complete. Several secondary schools are also being upgraded in a similar scheme.
Two schools which are being worked on this year are Woodhead Primary School and Cairns Primary School, where pupils are able to watch their new classrooms and facilities rise before their very eyes.
Pupils at Woodhead Primary School have been looking on as their new £6.5 million school is built in close proximity to the existing buildings.
Construction of the new school began in January 2011, when main contractors Kier Construction moved onto the site. Pupils and teachers gathered around their old playground to watch the ‘ground breaking’ ceremony taking place on the 23rd and released biodegradable Chinese lanterns to celebrate the occasion.
The new Woodhead Primary is being constructed in two phases, with the first of these due for completion in early 2012. Phase One is a three-storey building which will incorporate several different facilities. There will be fourteen classrooms, a gym hall, a canteen and associated facilities such as open learning and small group work areas. Outside, a Multi-Use Games Area all-weather pitch will be erected.
In the second phase of the build, another block comprising additional classrooms and a nursery will be constructed to complete the wide range of new facilities from which pupils will soon benefit.
It is a challenging site to build on as there will be many children in close proximity for much of the process. The reduced playground area also means that the school has introduced phased play times. However, this building project could prove an inspiration to a new generation of young builders as the children watch their school take shape.
The old school buildings have stood on the site for thirty-three years, and comprise thirteen classrooms, a hall and two activity areas in a semi open-plan layout. The building work currently underway will take the school into a new era, and looks further ahead, creating the potential for more extension works which would allow the school to take on children from two thousand new homes which are planned for the town.
Cairns Primary School
At Cairns Primary School in Cambuslang, a £7.1 million new build is also being carried out by Kier, who will create new classrooms, a nursery and associated facilities over two storeys. The external works include the installation of a multi-use games area and a sixty-three space car park, as well as improving both pedestrian and road access onto the site.
As with Woodhead Primary, it is expected that the works will be completed within a year, and the children are remaining in the existing building while construction progresses.
Kier Construction have already undertaken the construction work for a number of schools in the area, delivering the most recent – Auchinraith Primary School in Blantyre – two weeks ahead of schedule. Besides Woodhead and Cairns Primary Schools, the firm have also been given the contract for the replacement of Hunter Primary School in East Kilbride.