Work starts on new Cumbernauld school campus

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 00:35 on 20 January 2015.
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Preparatory works - such as tree felling have started on site. Picture: Greenfaulds High School.
THE ground has been broken on a brand new state-of-the-art school in Cumbernauld, after Morrison Construction was awarded a multi-million pound contract for the development.

Work to construct a brand new school campus on the run down sports pitches adjacent to Greenfaulds High School – which opened in 1971 – started earlier this month after Morrison Construction was awarded a £31.2m contract for the development. 

Announced earlier this month, the contract pay-out announcement was affirmed by a confirmation that Galliford Try will construct the like for like replacement of the aging Greenfaulds High School campus – investing £0.7 million into the bargain.

The replacement school was announced by North Lanarkshire Council two years ago, before a full planning application went before the council in spring 2014. 

Welcoming the contract award, Galliford Try executive chairman, Greg Fitzgerald, said earlier this month:  “The successful financial close of Greenfaulds High School follows closely behind the announcement by North Lanarkshire Council to award Morrison Construction a place on their £100m framework.”

He added: “We look forward to working with the Council to create buildings that will serve the whole community, as well as significantly enhancing the facilities for education in the region.”

Designs for the new high school campus have been widely welcomed by parents, pupils and staff, with the Archial Norr designed campus set to provide a modern, sleek school campus which is conducive to a positive learning environment.  

As part of the new build’s design, the heart of the soon-to-be building is the central space consisting of a hall, social, dining and internal courtyard, which will provide opportunities for performance, drama, conference and social events – all alongside one and other. 

Outside of the main building, the plans include an all-weather eight lane athletics track with associated field facilities in addition to synthetic sports pitches, to create an all-round modern campus.

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament has also hailed the project; and, in a statement earlier this month, Mr Hepburn said: “I am of course glad to hear that the £30million funding which has been sourced from Scottish Government has reached financial close with the local authority’s contractors”, adding: “I’m sure that all at the school are looking forward to the creation of a modern school building fit for the 21st century.”

The official launch of the project is expected to be carried out with a traditional sod-cutting ceremony by a Scottish Government minister before the end of the month, North Lanarkshire Council has suggested. 

Commenting on the project’s kick-off, Councillor Jim Logue, North Lanarkshire Council’s Learning and Leisure Services committee convener, said: “We’re delighted that funding for this ambitious and exciting project has been agreed.”

He added: “It’s a complex process involving a range of partners – so it’s a major milestone that’s been reached.”

Dr. John May, the headmaster of Greenfaulds High School has also hailed the start of work on site; and, in a statement he has described his “delight” at seeing works finally take place.

“We are delighted to announce that preparatory work for the new Greenfauld High began on Monday 5th January,” he said. 

“In the first month the focus for the construction company will be on preparing the site and erecting the boundary fence that will separate pupils from the construction zone. 

“A major emphasis in this first phase will be on the construction of a new access road from the A73. Once this is completed all construction vehicles will utilise the new road to access the site. However, in the meantime and over the next 4-7 weeks all traffic will be using Athelstane Drive and as a result congestion issues must be anticipated for all vehicles entering the school grounds.”
In a letter to parents, Dr. May has urged parents to avoid entering the school by car, encouraging them to seek safe, alternative arrangements – especially at busy times, such as parents evenings.

He wrote: “I would again request that parents avoid entering the school by car unless really necessary. However, if doing so please do not park on double yellow lines and in particular on the school driveway, which would inevitably restrict access and egress for everyone. Although additional temporary parking has been created off the lower car park, it is likely that parking for parents attending school events such as Parents’ Evening will be exceptionally challenging throughout the construction period and we would encourage parents to explore alternative arrangements for such visits.”

The new Greenfaulds High School campus is expected to be ready by the autumn of 2016.
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