The £45 million William McIlvanney Campus in Kilmarnock has passed another important milestone with its topping out ceremony last week.
The event marked a crucial stage in the construction of the leading education facility, which is on target for completion next year.
The new Campus, which will create new opportunities and benefits for the entire community, will bring together Kilmarnock Academy and James Hamilton Academy, along with the merger of Silverwood Primary and New Farm Primary and Early Childhood Centre.
It is the latest initiative to be facilitated by hub South West, the construction and infrastructure-focused partnership which works with forward-looking companies and authorities in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.
Being delivered by Kier Construction for East Ayrshire Council, the campus will also promote the Gaelic language with a centre of excellence. It will accommodate 1,465 secondary, 383 primary and 80 morning and 80 afternoon early years pupils.
The new Campus honours the memory of the legendary author – known locally as Willie – who was not only a pupil at Kilmarnock Academy but later worked as a teacher. Its name will be a reminder for people who not only admired McIlvanney’s work but knew him personally.
Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West, said: “The William McIlvanney Campus is an ongoing success on so many levels. The enthusiasm of all participating partners working on this project is reflected in the excellent progress being made.
“This development has provided many educational activities for students from schools and colleges across the region who have participated in project related events. It has also created a number of opportunities for local apprentices and graduates.”
Councillor Douglas Reid, leader of East Ayrshire Council, said: “William McIlvanney was one of Scotland’s most important writers. He started his professional life as a teacher and remained a dedicated supporter of high quality education throughout his life.
“It is entirely fitting that his name will be associated with this exceptional development for generations to come.”
Brian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction Scotland and north-east England, said: “Throughout the build, we have worked with local suppliers and SMEs to ensure that the project boosts the local Ayrshire economy. We have created 19 apprenticeships, 16 work placements and two graduate traineeships.”