Trio of new school projects for Clark Contracts

Gordon Cunningham

Clark Contracts has been appointed to deliver three new projects for Renfrewshire Council at West Primary School, St John Ogilvie Primary School and Inchinnan Primary School.

Clark Contracts will complete the external refurbishment of West Primary School in Paisley including the upgrade of existing roof coverings, installation of new windows, stonework and replacement of render.

The contractor will be completing the demolition of external walls and extending the existing building at St John Ogilvie Primary School in Paisley to provide 2 new classrooms. The school, which has approximately 200 pupils enrolled, was originally built in the 1970’s.

The project at Inchinnan Primary School will replace the majority of the existing electrical services throughout the school.

Gordon Cunningham, managing director, Clark Contracts, said: “It is fantastic to be awarded these three local school projects and we look forward to working with Renfrewshire Council to complete the works.”

Clark Contracts recently completed the refurbishment and extension of Mossvale Primary School and Nursery Class and St James’ Primary School and the construction of St Fergus Primary school, both in Paisley, totalling over £8 million.

London firm selected to design £42m Paisley Museum revamp

Paisley Museum

Architectural practice AL_A has been appointed to design plans for the £42 million Paisley Museum transformation project.

The revamp, a key project in Renfrewshire Council’s planned £100m investment in cultural venues and infrastructure, will create a new revitalised home for Paisley’s internationally-significant textile heritage and outstanding natural history, art and science collections.

Features include a contemporary addition to the existing Victorian-era building, creating a new entrance and museum spaces – including a cafe and shop – landscaping and significantly-improved access.

In addition, major revamps will be carried out to all four museum buildings including the Coats Observatory, while a complete internal redesign will reimagine the visitor experience and double the number of objects on public display.

London-based AL_A has designed numerous landmark projects, including the Victoria & Albert Museum Exhibition Road Quarter – for which it was awarded the prestigious RIBA London Building of the Year 2018 this week.

The firm was among more than 120 firms to tender for the Paisley Museum project and will lead an Anglo-Scottish multi-disciplinary design team including conservation consultants Giles Quarme and Associates, landscape architects GROSS.MAX and engineers Arup.

Founder Amanda Levete said the Paisley Museum project is “one of the most radical briefs I have read”.

“It triggered in us a desire to tell the untold history of Paisley and search for a narrative thread that will drive the design,” she said.

“The project is bigger than the building itself and I am excited to re-imagine the relationship between the street and museum.

“This is not only about finding the way to best show the museum’s collection, it’s also about showing the world how an ambitious cultural project can have a profound impact on a community and its identity.”

Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, added: “For Paisley to have attracted a design team of such global reputation to come to Scotland for the first time shows we are being noticed around the UK and abroad.

“Being the first ever town on a UK City of Culture shortlist took our profile to new levels – but this appointment also says a lot about the scale and ambition of the museum project, and the worldwide importance of Paisley’s heritage and collections.”

The project is scheduled to be complete by 2022.

Renfrewshire primary school to be refurbished by Clark Contracts

Michael Scanlan

Clark Contracts has been awarded a £2.5 million contract for the external refurbishment of West Primary School for Renfrewshire Council.

The local contractor will complete the upgrade of existing roof coverings, installation of new windows, stonework repair and replacement of render at the Paisley school which has approximately 500 pupils enrolled.

West Primary School was originally built in 1938 as a high school but is now mainly a primary school, also accommodating a Nursery, Language Unit, Youth and Sports Services Department and community dance group.

Councillor Jim Paterson, convenor of Renfrewshire Council’s education and children’s services policy Board, said: “The exterior refurbishment works at West Primary School are part of our continuous schools investment programme, ensuring that our children and young people are learning in the best possible environment.

“This programme of refurbishing and building schools is an investment in our children’s future and it will be exciting to see how these improvements benefit the children of West Primary.”

Michael Scanlan, director, Clark Contracts, said: “Having recently completed the refurbishment and extension of Mossvale Primary School and Nursery Class and St James’ Primary School and the construction of St Fergus Primary school, both in Paisley, we are looking forward to delivering another local school project for Renfrewshire Council.”

Video: Portakabin cranes in over 40 modules for new Renfrewshire education campus

Staff members from Crossreach and Portakabin joined teachers and local pupils to prepare to break ground on the new build

The development of an education campus on Erskine Waterfront, Renfrewshire, celebrated another milestone as modules arrived on site

The two-storey modular building in Erskine will provide a high standard of education for around 30 children, aged 8-16-years-old.

Over 40 modules in total have been designed, engineered and constructed to engineering tolerances 1mm at the Portakabin manufacturing facility in York over the past months. In that time, extensive groundworks have been undertaken to prepare the site, in incredibly challenging conditions. As well as bright, modern classrooms and office space, there are also plans to develop the green space around the site for the benefit of the local community.

The offsite construction of the modules which make up the new school building have meant that the local community and neighbours have not been disrupted, with offsite recording 90% fewer vehicle movements than traditional construction around the site.

Gregor Hood, regional hire manager for Portakabin Scotland, is pleased to see the programme moving ahead as planned: “It’s a well-known fact that offsite construction is faster than traditional building methods and we’re delighted to have hit this first milestone for CrossReach to programme. Groundworks and construction of the modules happen simultaneously, reducing our overall time on site; one of the biggest benefits of offsite.

“We’ve been working hard through some challenging weather and a changeable environment so it’s fantastic news for the project team to celebrate this momentous stage in the project.”

Sheila Gordon, director of children and family services at CrossReach, the social care arm of the Church of Scotland, said: “We have been delighted to work with Portakabin in order to build a new education campus.

“The location combined with the campus structure and layout will ensure that CrossReach can continue to provide first class learning opportunities for children and young people.”

CrossReach provides cradle to the grave services across Scotland, employing more than 2,000 people and scores of volunteers.

It is one of the largest social care providers in Scotland and has been providing residential care and education for children, who for various reasons cannot live with their families, for over 25 years.

The existing education team and pupils will move from their current base in Ballikinrain to the Erskine site in August for the start of the new school year.

Rearo completes St Mirren FC’s tunnel project

St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott

Glasgow-based manufacturer Rearo Laminates Ltd has completed supply work on a £7,000 refurbishment of St Mirren FC’s tunnel area.

The project was a collaborative effort involving laminate suppliers Formica, Gate Creative and Rearo’s own manufacturing team.

The new wall cladding documents the story of the club from its origins in 1877. Designed to impact the players visually before a game, the panels feature historic victories and inspirational players, past and present.

Designer Ken Doig said: “I wanted to combine the obvious pride in the club and town with a strong sense of St Mirren’s branding to create a powerful, emotive area for the team and visitors alike. The overall design is based simply on the black and white stripes, with a paisley pattern background. I used the club slogan ‘our town, our team’ to maximum effect, running it from floor to ceiling.

“A top stripe of black and white images retraces achievements from the 2013 League Cup Winners through First Division Champions, Scottish Cup Winners, all the way back to the legendary Dunky Walker in Barcelona 1921. The bottom stripe pays tribute to the fans, with images of celebration in the terraces and crowded streets on victory days.”

Fabricated within Rearo’s Govan based 60,000 sq ft manufacturing facility, Doig’s design has been encapsulated in laminate using Formica’s Younique service digital printing techniques. The collaboration’s end result has been extremely well received by the club.

St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the tunnel renovation. The design captures the spirit of the club perfectly and will serve us well in our return to the Premier League. We’re extremely grateful to Rearo, who have been a club sponsor for several years and have supported various projects, both at the old Love Street ground, Ralston and our new stadium.

“When planning the tunnel renovation, we immediately called on their wall cladding expertise and together with the personalisation service by Formica, it’s proved to be a winning combination.”

The panel installation was completed by AMJ Joinery just days before the Buddies lifted the Championship trophy and were officially promoted to the Scottish Premier League.

Work underway to create homes fit for 21st century in Johnstone Castle

Residents gather to watch the regeneration work begin

Demolition work has started to clear the way for 95 new build homes for Renfrewshire Council in Johnstone Castle.

The development will feature a mix of mainly two and three bedroom homes and own-door flats, as well as two specially designed bungalows for tenants with mobility requirements.

The regeneration project has also catered for larger families, with four semi-detached homes which have four bedrooms.

The next phase of  work will see vacant properties at Cedar Avenue, Tower Road and Elm Drive taken down to make way for the new energy efficient homes.

Excavators from Reigart Contracts Limited have moved in to start the demolition of the flats at Elm Drive, which were built in 1960.

Construction work on the new housing is expected to start next month by the council’s recommended contractor ENGIE Regeneration Limited, with the first completions due next spring.

The construction costs of almost £13 million will be funded from the council’s housing investment programme and a Scottish Government grant.

Convener of communities, housing and planning policy, Councillor Marie McGurk, said: “The regeneration work underway at Johnstone Castle demonstrates our commitment to providing affordable, energy efficient social housing that will meet the needs of local people as well as improve their quality of life and community.

“It’s been key to have the community on board, as an integral part of the process.”

Millions to be invested in Renfrewshire’s roads network

The largest ever single year investment in Renfrewshire’s roads is set to be delivered in 2018/19 as part of an extensive programme of roads resurfacing.

£7.2 million has been committed from Renfrewshire Council‘s budget to improve routes across Renfrewshire’s as part of the continuing physical and economic regeneration of the area.

The programme for 2018/19 will include the resurfacing and improvement of a number of high profile strategic routes and also a large number of busy rural and residential streets.

It will focus on carriageway resurfacing, including patching and surface dressing, as well as addressing drainage improvements, footway resurfacing and crash and safety barrier installation.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We recognise that a key concern for the Renfrewshire community is the quality and safety of our roads network which is why a significant investment has been made to make improvements.

“This is the largest ever single year investment made by this Council in our roads infrastructure and shows a clear commitment to increasing the quality and usability of the network for road users.

“There are areas within Renfrewshire which are in urgent need of repair and we will prioritise those roads in what will be a comprehensive programme of upgrades.

“While all roads cannot be repaired overnight, the investment we are making will ensure that the community begin to see tangible improvements immediately and a continual progress in the quality of our roads throughout the year.”

The roads resurfacing programme will coincide with an enhanced schedule of pot hole repairs which will tackle the effects severe weather has had on Renfrewshire’s roads.

Immediate temporary repairs will be undertaken on pot holes which are causing a hazard on roads with the full repair then planned into a programme for completion.

Any excessive pot holes which have developed will be temporarily repaired and then undertaken as part of the larger roads resurfacing programme.

Councillor McEwan added: “We recognise there is a significant issue regarding pot holes which is affecting our roads due to the severe weather we faced this winter, with the freezing conditions causing the road surface to crack.

“This is an issue which has been seen nationally, even occurring on our motorways, and we have invested accordingly to ensure our teams can carry out the necessary repairs.

“We recognise the frustrations of road users and want to assure them that we are committed to providing a roads network which is fit for purpose and will work hard to address all problems across the area.”

The full programme of roads resurfacing works is being finalised with initial repairs already underway and more extensive resurfacing work set to begin shortly.

Contractor appointed to deliver new council homes in Renfrewshire

Plans to deliver 95 new council houses that meet the needs of local people in Johnstone Castle have taken a step forward as Renfrewshire Council approved the project’s contractor.

A report recommending ENGIE Regeneration Limited is awarded the contract was given the green light at the council’s finance, resources and customer services policy board.

Work is anticipated to start this summer to build a mix of two and three bedroom houses and own-door flats that will replace the tenement flats approved for demolition in 2014.

Councillor John Shaw, convener for the board, said: “We have given approval to appoint a contractor to deliver new, affordable, high quality council houses for the area. The construction costs of almost £13 million will be funded from the council’s housing investment programme and a Scottish Government grant.”

Communities, housing and planning convener, Councillor Marie McGurk, added:  “We are delighted to be moving onto the next stage of this regeneration project, which will provide modern, energy efficient council houses of the type we know people want to live in.”

Housing staff continue to work closely with residents in Johnstone Castle regeneration area to keep them up-to-date and informed on progress.

Taylor Wimpey makes planning application for Linwood development

Typical four bedroom detached homes proposed by Taylor Wimpey West Scotland for Linwood

Taylor Wimpey West Scotland has submitted a detailed planning application to Renfrewshire Council for the provision of 110 new homes through the development of land at the former Johnstone Hospital site on Bridge of Weir Road in Linwood.

The 9.97-acre brownfield site is already identified for housing and the proposed development in Linwood represents a significant investment in the local area by Taylor Wimpey West Scotland.

It aims to deliver an impressive range of three and four bedroom homes in a variety of styles and sizes to appeal to a wide range of customers.

The proposal also includes plans for the creation of recreational space, a new footpath link, as well as the associated infrastructure needed for a development of this nature.

Stephen Andrew, technical director for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, added: “Taylor Wimpey is delighted to confirm that we have made a detailed planning application for the land off Bridge of Weir Road in Linwood.

“As well as an impressive range of new homes, our development would provide a range of economic benefits for the local Linwood area including jobs, as well as the attraction of new customers to local businesses.

“We believe this development would be a great addition to the local area and it also complements our other developments across the region.

“Our proposed development at Linwood would offer potential buyers access to a great place to call home that benefits from an exceptional range of local amenities.”

Councillors unveil £53.9m investment in Renfrewshire housing

Previous work to install external wall insulation in Gallowhill

Nearly £54 million is to be invested in housing across Renfrewshire over the next three years under the local authority’s new budget plans.

New build homes, regeneration and maintenance of existing council homes will form the key focus of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing Capital Investment Plan 2018/19 to 2020/21.

The significant outlay will see £15.44m in 2018/19, £18.75m in 2019/20 and £19.716m in 2020/21 invested in a range of programmes to improve the level of housing in Renfrewshire and advance the council’s commitment to provide 1000 new, affordable homes by 2021.

Planned investment programmes include improvements to the external fabric of council houses, roof renewals, upgraded kitchens and bathrooms, improved electrical wiring and heating systems, and improvements to multi storey flats and sheltered housing.

The plan also includes provision for new build investment in affordable social housing in Renfrewshire at sites in Dargavel Village and Johnstone Castle, as well as new build homes on sites including Ferguslie, Foxbar, Gallowhill, Millarston and a further site at Dargavel Village.

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s communities, housing and planning policy board, said: “We are committed to providing high-quality, affordable homes that will encourage people to come and live and work in Renfrewshire.

“This significant investment will ensure we can provide our communities with homes that are the right type, the right size and in the right place to meet their needs and improve their quality of life.

“We are on track to achieve our aim of providing 1000 new, affordable homes by 2021 and this, coupled with the improvements made to existing stock, will ensure a positive future for Renfrewshire and its residents.”

It was also announced that rent will be increased by 1% after consultation with more than 600 council tenants saw 99% indicate any increase should be kept as low as possible.

48% of respondents felt that rents should increase slightly below the rate of inflation, with 45% indicating it should rise in line and 6% feeling the rise should be slightly above.

Tenants also advised that their three most important issues are affordability, improvement to existing stock and building new council houses, and this small increase will ensure these needs continue to be met under increasing cost pressures

Councillor McGurk added: “We recognise the pressure on many households and its important we continue to maintain affordability for our tenants while also covering the rising costs related to maintaining our council housing stock. This below inflation increase will contribute towards our maintenance programme for existing housing.

“We’re committed to mitigating the impact of the slower than expected pace of UK welfare reform changes and as such have incorporated a transitional premium cap of £1.50 per week for any rent which has to be increased to ensure the change is manageable for our tenants.

“Having listened to our residents, we have aligned our priorities for the next three years accordingly to ensure we are meeting their needs and we will work hard to provide high-quality housing for those who wish to rent or buy a home in Renfrewshire.”