Ashleigh Building begins early childhood centre in Kilmarnock

Work by Ashleigh Building to construct a new early childhood centre in Kilmarnock got under way this week.

East Ayrshire Council officers and elected members were joined by school children and staff to mark the start of the £4.15 million works, which will see the creation of a 600 sq m single-storey extension constructed at Loanhead Primary School.

The new extension will house an early childhood centre and a light, bright and modern flexible dining/activity area. In addition, a significant programme of refurbishment will be completed in the primary school.

The centre has the capacity to provide 1140 hours of early learning and childcare for 42 children. A new fully glazed structure will provide a link from the primary school through to the extension. Other works within the primary school include the installation of a new lift rising through the school atrium, and external ramps which will ensure inclusive access to all main levels of the existing school.

The existing two-storey extension and toilet block has already been demolished and new toilets will be installed on all levels, including accessible facilities and a new changing facility.

The former janitor’s house, which was previously used as the school kitchen/dining hall, will be refurbished to provide accommodation for the PEACE Group (Breakfast Club and After School Club). Externally there will be new play areas and landscaping together with dedicated off street parking accessible from Loanhead Street.

Council leader Councillor Douglas Reid said: “For East Ayrshire, the Scottish Government’s expansion of early years in 2020 has given us the opportunity to re-think facilities at all of our existing early childhood centres, as well as the creation of some new ones to meet expected demand.

“This development is particularly significant as it will offer the most modern, dedicated early learning facilities for the youngest learners in this community for the very first time, with the creation of the brand new Loanhead early childhood centre as part of the primary school establishment.

“This is such a fabulous old building and I’m delighted it’s being preserved and restored as part of our Early Learning Expansion plans.”

The works at Loanhead Primary School and new early childhood centre are scheduled for completion by July 2020, with children returning for the new term in August 2020.

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