Councillors approve plans for £23 million Mearns Academy replacement
21st June 2012
Plans for a £23million replacement academy in Laurencekirk were approved by councillors on Thursday (June 21).
Building work on the new Mearns Academy is due to start next month, after councillors approved the project costs and awarded the contract at a meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee.
The 840-pupil school and community campus will feature a range of sports facilities, including a four-court games hall, gym, fitness suite and sports pitches.
The new site, covering just under 17 acres at Aberdeen Road, Laurencekirk, was purchased by Aberdeenshire Council in February this year.
The replacement Mearns Academy has been approved at a cost of £23,377,662. The project is part-funded by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) which is providing £9,738,000 for the new facility.
The council is committed to providing employment and work experience opportunities while the academy is being built. Contractor Lend Lease proposes to award 75% of the work to contractors within a 30-mile radius of Laurencekirk.
It is expected that the school will be completed in June 2014, with the first classes operating from August of that year.
Committee chair, Cllr Jim Gifford, said: “I am extremely pleased that councillors have given the go-ahead for work to start on building a new academy in Laurencekirk.
“This is an exciting development for the council, and will be a focal point for the whole of the community.”
Vice-chair, Cllr Martin Kitts-Hayes, said: “A replacement Mearns Academy has been part of the council’s long-term asset management strategy and I am pleased to see that the work has been approved.”
Committee members also approved plans for £11.7 million of extensions and alterations to Kemnay Academy, to ensure the school can cope with projected increases in pupil numbers over the next five years.
The plans, which will help the school meet curriculum requirements, provide teaching accommodation and PE provision, includes new teaching classrooms, music rooms, a gymnasium, Support for Learners facilities, changing shower and toilet accommodation, administration offices and pupil social areas.
The work is scheduled to begin in February 2013 and take place over four phases, for completion in March 2015.
Councillors also approved plans for a new primary school at Kintore, to be built on a site to the east of Midmill Business Park, Kintore, at a cost of £10.4 million.
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