Construction work has officially started at the £7 million St Patrick’s Primary School in Greenock following a sod cutting event.
The project is the latest in Inverclyde Council’s £270m school estates programme.
Pupils and the school’s acting head teacher were joined by Inverclyde Council’s education convener, Scottish Government minister for learning, science and Scotland’s languages and the chief executive of hub West Scotland to start the construction phase.
The school is being delivered by hub West Scotland, Inverclyde Council’s development partner, in conjunction with main contractor Lend Lease and architect Holmes Miller.
The new state-of-the-art building for St Patrick’s Primary will be on the original Broomhill Street site following the demolition of the old school.
Inverclyde Council’s education & communities vice-convener, Councillor Martin Brennan, said: “This ground breaking event is a key moment marking the start in this exciting project and it is right that our young people are here to witness this. This is yet another milestone in the Council’s delivery of major renovation, rebuilding and upgrading of school facilities across Inverclyde. Some of the changes over the past few years have been momentous and they deliver some of the best school facilities in the country to support our young people, teachers and school staff in delivering a top class learning experience for our young people.”
Dr Alasdair Allan, minister for learning, said: “This is an exciting milestone for the new St Patrick’s Primary School and I’m delighted I could be part of it. The new school will provide a fantastic, modern environment for children to learn in and will be enjoyed by many generations to come.
“I’m pleased the Scottish Government could support Inverclyde Council’s improvement of its school estate by providing more than £3m towards this project and I look forward to seeing the school when it opens to pupils next year.”
The original St Patrick’s Primary was initially earmarked for refurbishment as part of Inverclyde Council’s £270m Schools Estate programme delivering new or refurbished schools across the area, however the council recognised the cost of building a new school at the same site could be around £100,000 less than a refurbishment because of the greater amount of Government funding that would become available – £3.4m from the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme.
Debbie McNamara, chief executive of hub West Scotland, said: “As our first project with Inverclyde Council, we are thrilled to be delivering a contemporary learning facility for the pupils and teachers at St Patricks Primary School.”
David MacDonald, hub programme director at Scottish Futures Trust, added: “The hub programme is an innovative approach to develop and deliver best-value community facilities which provides public bodies with a quick and efficient way of getting their projects into construction and helps protect local jobs. I very much look forward to seeing St Patrick’s Primary School open and seeing pupils being taught in modern, first-class facilities.”
The new St Patrick’s Primary School is due to be completed by October 2016. The school has been decanted to the former Sacred Heart Primary school until the new building is ready.