School redeveloped to become St Columba’s High School


St Columbas Academy- Tower Hill in the town of Gourock, Inverclyde

The former Gourock High School is being refurbished to provide a new home for St Columba’s High School on Tower Hill in the town of Gourock, Inverclyde.

The existing building, originally built in the 1960’s was in poor condition and in desperate need of updating.

The 72 week refurbishment also has some new build elements, in the form of a new wing to the school.

A new floor will be added to the main building and the facilities available will be upgraded, including a refurbished gym and games hall, new fitness suite, multi-use games area and all-weather sports pitch. A main feature of the new building will be the school Oratory which will be the centre of faith, celebration and worship within the school community. Externally, the finish to the building will be brick with rainscreen cladding.

St Columbas Academy- Tower Hill in the town of Gourock, Inverclyde

The new building will provide a modern environment for the school to build on its excellent reputation and ethos as well as providing enhanced opportunities for achievement, attainment and personal development for students.

The project is costing £14.67 million with funding coming from the Council Capital Programme. McLaughlin & Harvey are the main contractor ad S & P Architects have been appointed as architects and lead consultant by Inverclyde Council on the extension and refurbishment of the school.

McLaughlin and Harvey  Building & Civil Engineering Contractors have 150 years experience working on a wide variety of projects in a range of sectors; from retail and leisure to railways, roads and bridges.

S & P Architects have the capacity and resources to take on projects of any scale throughout Europe and worldwide, with offices in London, Nottingham, Glasgow and Dublin.

St Columbas Academy- Tower Hill in the town of Gourock, Inverclyde

On St Columba’s Academy, their initial explorations of the project were to carefully consider the existing form and fabric of the building, and how best to enhance and improve its appearance and performance. They also wanted to reorganise the circulation and social spaces especially as the brief called for a new – and vitally important to the ethos of the school – “oratory” gathering space.

Work began on the site in February 2012 and the project is due to be completed in the summer of 2013, currently the development is running on programme.

This is an important project for Inverclyde council, as one of the two largest education projects underway at present and a key part of the School Estate Management Plan.

A spokesperson from Inverclyde Council said:

“The new St Columba’s High School building on Tower Hill will provide a permanent home for the school and its community and will be fully equipped to support first class learning appropriate for the 21st century.

The building has been designed to support the delivery of the Curriculum for Excellence and to facilitate the provision of the highest standards of learning and teaching in all areas.

St Columbas Academy- Tower Hill in the town of Gourock, Inverclyde

The full range of new and fully refurbished indoor and outdoor facilities will ensure that all students are provided with opportunities for personalisation and choice in their learning. The purpose built accommodation will comply fully with all requirements of the Scottish Government and of Inverclyde Council.”

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