Holmes Miller

Work begins on £7m Greenock school

(from left) Geraldine Ogilby - acting head teacher at St Patrick’s Primary School, Euan MacEachern – site manager at Lend Lease, Angeline Robertson – partnerships director at hub West Scotland, Marc Quinn – pupil at St Patrick’s Primary School, Councillor Martin Brennan – vice convener for education and communities at Inverclyde Council, John Hope – board director at hub West Scotland, Roy Allport – executive general manager at Lend Lease, Steven Coulson – architect at Holmes Miller, Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, Orianna Harvey pupil at St Patrick’s Primary School and Clara Garriga – associate director at Holmes Miller

(from left) Geraldine Ogilby – acting head teacher at St Patrick’s Primary School, Euan MacEachern – site manager at Lend Lease, Angeline Robertson – partnerships director at hub West Scotland, Marc Quinn – pupil at St Patrick’s Primary School, Councillor Martin Brennan – vice convener for education and communities at Inverclyde Council, John Hope – board director at hub West Scotland, Roy Allport – executive general manager at Lend Lease, Steven Coulson – architect at Holmes Miller, Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, Orianna Harvey pupil at St Patrick’s Primary School and Clara Garriga – associate director at Holmes Miller

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.

£7m Inverclyde school project reaches financial close

St PatricksInverclyde Council’s £7 million plan for a new building for St Patrick’s Primary in Greenock has achieved financial close clearing the way for construction to begin.

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.

Education & communities convener, Councillor Terry Loughran, said: “It has taken months of planning and hard work but the formalities have now been completed and it won’t be long before we start to see the new school taking shape. This is yet another milestone moment in this important project and I would like to thank everyone involved for getting us to the stage we are at. I would also like to praise the patience of the pupils, parents and entire school community who recognise that a relatively short period of inconvenience will be well worth the final result.”

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 Scottish Government funding that would become available – £3.4m from the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme.

Grant Robertson, schools programme director at the Scottish Futures Trust, said: “Protecting local jobs. Creating better schools. Achieving value for money. These are just a few of the benefits being delivered through the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme that SFT manages. I very much look forward to seeing St Patrick’s Primary open and witness the real value of the programme with pupils being taught in modern, first-class facilities.”

The school is being delivered by hub West Scotland, the council’s development partner, in conjunction with main contractor Lend Lease and architect Holmes Miller.

Debbie McNamara, CEO of hub West Scotland, added: “This is our first project to be developed with Inverclyde Council which also utilises the Primary School Reference Design that is being successfully delivered with other local authority partners. We are committed to delivering this new school facility late next year.”

Work will begin on site over the next few weeks and is due to be completed by October 2016.

The school will be decanted to the former Sacred Heart Primary school until the new building is ready.

Two new Perthshire primary schools handed over

Crieff Primary School

Crieff Primary School

hub East Central Scotland has completed an £18 million project for the design and construction of two new primary schools in Perthshire.

The new schools, in Crieff and in Perth, will jointly accommodate around 1,000 nursery and primary pupils in modern ‘state of the art’ learning environments.

The new Oakbank Primary School, which was built on the existing site at Viewlands Road in Perth, includes an integrated nursery, specialist provision for additional support needs, and break out areas around flexible teaching spaces.

Oakbank Primary School

Oakbank Primary School

The new Crieff Primary School and nursery on a new site adjacent to the Strathearn Community Campus and shares many design features with Oakbank Primary School.

The schools were built by BAM Construction to designs by Holmes Miller and the project was managed by hub East Central Scotland.

Gary Bushnell, chief executive, hub East Central Scotland, said: “The new schools have been built to the highest standards and incorporate the most modern design values, delivering the best possible environment to support teaching and learning. This is a major education initiative, which was delivered on time and on budget, achieving best value for the communities that it serves.”

Holmes Miller submits plan to revamp Dunblane’s Queen Victoria School

QVS Teaching blockProposals for the phased redevelopment and modernisation of Queen Victoria School in Dunblane have been submitted to Stirling Council.

Developed by Holmes Miller Architects, working collaboratively with GVA James Barr and Horner + MacLennan Landscape Architects, the plans include rationalisation and modernisation of the MoD funded boarding school and grounds.

Proposals also include the provision of a new teaching block, accommodation block and relocation of activities to existing and new build accommodation such as pipes and drums centre, dance hall, new stores building and new dining kitchen building.

Demolition of surplus unlisted buildings and extensive landscaping and other public realm improvement works and drainage works to existing burn and repositioning of culvert are also planned.

Perth set for £30m Mill Quarter development

Image supplied by Holmes Miller

Image supplied by Holmes Miller

A landmark £30 million development is to be built within Perth city centre.

The Mill Quarter development, which will be located on the site of the Thimblerow car park, will comprise of restaurants and bars, speciality shops, a cinema, gyms, housing, and a multi storey car park.

It is expected to create more than 150 jobs and over 350 construction and supply jobs, while attracting over 300,000 visitors every year.

This multi million pound project was secured by Perth and Kinross Council and helped by collaborative marketing undertaken by the Scottish Cities Alliance, a partnership between Scotland’s seven cities and the Scottish Government.

Expresso Property has been selected by Perth and Kinross Council as the preferred developer for the site.

Speaking as he visited Perth Concert Hall to make the announcement yesterday, deputy first minister John Swinney said: “If Scotland’s cities thrive so too does the rest of the country, and I am pleased to announce this exciting new £30 million venture for Perth.

“By providing a unique new destination for restaurants, retail and leisure, the Mill Quarter development will boost the local economy by creating jobs and attracting visitors to the area.

“The Scottish Cities Alliance provides a single point of contact for potential investors to access all seven Scottish cities. This success clearly signals the benefits of our cities and the Scottish Government working together in partnership. I am delighted that this is the first deal to be done, and I hope it will be the first of many.”

Councillor Andrew Burns, chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance said: “This is a fantastic result for the city of Perth and my congratulations go to everyone involved in bringing the deal to fruition.

“Of course, it’s also a demonstration of the great benefits to be gained from partnership working between the seven cities, with our recent presence at investor events such as MIPIM clearly paying dividends.

“I am quite sure that, thanks to our ongoing collaboration and, in particular, to the development of the Investment Prospectus, we can look forward to attracting many more major investments from across the globe.”

Councillor John Kellas, convener of enterprise and infrastructure committee at Perth and Kinross Council, said: “Expresso Property’s proposals will provide a welcome addition to the City’s local economy, driving additional employment and adding to the spend potential across the entire City Centre.

“As the population grows, a development of this nature further establishes Perth as a city in which to invest, work and live in, and is an embodiment of Perth and Kinross Council’s Perth City Plan.

“The location of the development will be of extra significance, as we begin to witness the emergence of an attractive cultural quarter within the city.”

Nicholas Robinson of developers Expresso Property Limited added: “We are delighted to have been selected to create this new leisure quarter making it an ideal location to live, relax and entertain in the heart of the city.

“We are particularly focused on developments in Scotland. We have been impressed by the support given by local government and their agencies in making things happen.

“That forward thinking has been crucial in establishing the real business case for this development here in the heart of Perth and we are now excited to get the project underway.”

Full planning permission for new school in Lenzie

Lenzie and Lenzie Moss PrimariesPlans for a brand new primary school in Lenzie took a step forward last week as full planning permission to build the new school with attached nursery was granted by East Dunbartonshire Council.

Architect Holmes Miller lodged the planning application on behalf of the council for the new school, sports pitches, access, car parking and play facilities.

The new school is to be built on the site of the existing Lenzie Moss Primary School as part of the council’s Primary School Improvement Programme to deliver modern new schools for local pupils.

The new school is scheduled to open during session 2016-17 and will replace the existing Lenzie Primary and Lenzie Moss Primary Schools.

Chair of the planning board, Councillor Billy Hendry, said: “I am delighted the board has approved the planning application for the delivery of a new purpose-built school in Lenzie.

“All representations were considered and permission has been granted with the relevant conditions in place.”

Dundee school construction ‘likely to feel impact of EU rule changes’

Baldragon Academy Dundee

Construction of the new Baldragon School is likely to be delayed due to funding changes, Dundee City Council has admitted.

New EU rules on accounting means the finance for the project is under increased scrutiny and, although the project itself is not under threat, the planned programme for the funding is subject to delays and the “financial close” will not be met by the expected time.

The news was broken by Labour councillor Lesley Brennan, who had raised fears over the effect of the EU changes on the V&A project with finance director Marjory Stewart.

In response, Ms Stewart told Ms Brennan: “I would confirm that this EU accounting rule change will not impact on the V&A project.

“The only project which this applies to is Baldragon School which is being financed through a Hub DBFM model which is funded by Scottish Government.

“We are in regular discussion with Scottish Futures Trust who administer the Schools Programme on behalf of the Scottish Government and are aware of the steps that are being taken to ensure that the funding and accounting arrangements satisfy the new EU accounting requirements.

“Whilst this will probably delay the financial close for this project, we will monitor the effect on the overall programme and this will be reported through the Strathmartine Project Board.

“In addition a report will be brought to policy and resources committee once we reach financial close.”

Baldragon Academy Dundee central hub

Ms Brennan told The Courier: “This news of a probable financial delay has come as a shock.

“The effect of this EU ruling has to be resolved as quickly as possible by the Scottish Government.

“Schools are always at the heart of every community.

“That is why it is important that the construction of the new school has to be protected from financial uncertainties.”

Mr Keenan said: “It gives me considerable concern that this information comes to light less than a week after council set a budget.”

The council’s education convener Stewart Hunter said he had been made aware of the issue.

He said: “We are committed to improving the school estate in Dundee and, along with our current projects at Harris, Coldside and Menzieshill, Baldragon is a key part to our multi-million-pound investment in schools in Dundee.”

The new building, designed by Holmes Miller Partnership and to be built by Robertson Construction, was approved back in September last year after councillors unanimously agreed to add extra conditions on to the application.

Dalbeattie Learning Campus plans to go before council

Dalbeatlie Learning Campus main entrance

Detailed plans for a new school in Dalbeattie have been unveiled.

The building, on the site of the existing high school, would form the Dalbeattie Learning Campus to contain the town’s secondary, primary and nursery school.

It would also boast sports facilities including a six-lane running track, a rugby pitch and a 3G pitch for football and hockey.

The hub South West Scotland project is to be considered by Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning committee next week.

Councillors will be told that the plans are for each school to be housed in a separate wing of the building, which will be in the shape of a Saltire.

Its sports facilities, including a netball court and tennis court, and its main halls would be made available for community use.

Designed by architects Holmes Miller, the plans also include gardens and horticultural areas with polytunnels, a rural skills area and a science garden.

There would also be a biodiversity pond, woodland, a wildflower meadow and an orchard.

A total of 112 car parking spaces would be available.

If approved, construction work by Graham Construction is anticipated to get underway during spring 2015 for completion by autumn 2016.

Replacement Dundee secondary school moves closer

Baldragon Academy Dundee

The £28.7 million replacement of a Dundee secondary school could come a step closer next week if councillors back the next stage in the process.

Dundee City Council’s policy and resources committee is being asked to approve advance payments so that preparation work can be started on the replacement for Baldragon Academy.

The new building, designed by Holmes Miller Partnership and to be built by Robertson Construction, was approved back in September after councillors unanimously agreed to add extra conditions on to the application.

Councillors accepted a motion calling for traffic calming measures for Harestane Road, which borders the site, as well as higher capacity parking, to be included in the plans.

Ken Guild, convener of the policy and resources committee, said: “A considerable amount of hard work has been going on in the background working out the fine detail of the funding for this project.

“Now that is nearing completion I am delighted that this exciting development is moving forward.

“Schools are an important component of our commitment to improve our communities and the replacement for Baldragon Academy will help in the ongoing regeneration the city while providing state of the art facilities to meet the opportunities and challenges that our pupils will face in the years to come.”

Advance work needed at the site includes creating a new electricity sub-station, installing water and sewer connections, repairing a collapsed culvert and carrying out site preparation works.

The maximum cost is expected to be no more than £250,000 which is included as part of the overall budget for the project.

It is hoped that the replacement school will be ready for its first intake of pupils in 2017.

Construction starts on Edinburgh Premier Inn hotel

lawrence_mcpherson_architectsConstruction works are underway on the latest Premier Inn to be built in the capital.

The development at York Place is for a new 127-bed hotel for Whitbread PLC in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town.

Lawrence McPherson Associates are acting as architectural consultant on brand delivery on behalf of Whitbread for the hotel. The hotel is designed by Holmes Miller and being constructed by Interserve.

Located on York Place, the hotel will be at the heart of Scotland’s capital city and less than 100 meters from one of the main stops on Edinburgh’s new tram network.

The capital’s latest Premier Inn is housed in offices formerly occupied by HM Revenue and Customs and will create about 40 jobs when completed.