Designs for the school modernisation were on show as work got underway.
Work on a £37 million modernisation and redevelopment programme at Marr College in Troon was given the official go-ahead today (4 November) by Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages and Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council.
The project to transform the school – funded by the Scottish Futures Trust, through the Scottish Government's Schools for the Future programme, and South Ayrshire Council – will see the iconic listed school building redeveloped and modernised internally to provide a modern learning and teaching environment.
A new technical wing and sports block will also be built to significantly enhance facilities at the school, complementing the new all-weather sports pitches opened earlier this year. The new and original buildings will be connected via a stunning glass atrium, providing another attractive architectural feature at the school. A roof will also be installed over the existing courtyards to provide exciting new learning spaces in the heart of the building.
The ambitious project is being delivered by hub South West, which was set up by the Scottish Futures Trust to deliver major public sector building projects, with construction works being undertaken by Tier 1 Contractor Kier Construction.
Speaking at the launch of the construction works, Minister for Learning Alasdair Allan said: "I was delighted to be part of the ceremony which marks an exciting milestone for the new Marr College. I'm pleased to see the designs for the school combine the historic elements of the building with modern architecture to create a fantastic, state-of-the-art environment for pupils to learn in. The new school will also provide modern leisure facilities the whole community will enjoy for generations to come.
"The Scottish Government has worked closely with South Ayrshire Council to help improve its school estate and I'm pleased we could provide more than £18 million in funding towards this project. I look forward to seeing the school when it's finished."
South Ayrshire Council Leader Bill McIntosh, added: "Marr has always been a magnificent school, but the fabric of the building no longer allows us to deliver learning and teaching in an environment that matches the high quality of the education provided. This project will change all of that and we are indebted to our partners for making this happen.
"What we're seeing here today is the beginning of a legacy of high quality learning in a modern teaching environment that will reap the benefits for generations of students to come – and the fantastic facilities will also be available to the local community, so it really is a win-win for everyone involved.
"My thanks to pupils, staff, parents and families, and everyone in the school community for their patience and co-operation while these works get underway. I have no doubt they will agree that it will be worth it in the end and I'm sure, like me, they can't wait to see the fantastic new-look school. It will be very much Marr College – but a Marr that's fit for the future!"
Hub South West Chief Executive, Michael McBrearty, added: "We are thrilled that this exciting project is now under way, having successfully delivered the Marr all-weather sports facilities back in June. We are looking forward to ongoing collaboration with Kier Construction Scotland, South Ayrshire Council and the wider community including pupils, staff, parents and public to develop this fantastic facility. This innovative project will bring a new lease of life to Marr College as well as a wide range of modern provisions for the community.
"We are very proud to be associated with these projects in South Ayrshire and the benefits they will provide for students in the area."
Managing director of Kier Construction's Scotland and north-east England business, Brian McQuade, said: "We are delighted to be undertaking additional work with hub South West Scotland on behalf of South Ayrshire Council, with this project further illustrating our position as a UK leader across education. Once complete, our work at will see state-of-the-art teaching and sporting facilities provided for the local community, helping to support future generations for years to come, and we look forward to getting on site.
"As with all of our activity across Scotland, we will use locally-based suppliers and subcontractors, which will support economic growth in the area and provide employment and training opportunities for the people of South Ayrshire."
Pupils also revealed how much they're looking forward to the works being completed:
- Sofia Burnham (S1): "I'm so happy with the new all-weather pitches, so can't wait for our new PE facilities to be built."
- Glen Smith (S2): "I'm looking forward to moving into the new part of the school and am excited about science lessons in particular. The plans for the classrooms in the technical wing look great."
- School Captain Corrie Gwynne (S6): "The advantages of this new building are already visible to the whole school community, especially with the opening of our new sports facilities. These pitches are boosting elite young athletes to strive to their full potential and achieve new levels in their sporting careers. The plans that have been shared with us for our learning facilities are fantastic!"
- School Vice-Captain Luke Light (S6): "Even though I won't see the finished product as a student, I can share in the student body's excitement and anticipation that is already building. The move to the temporary decant building is the first step towards our new phenomenal facilities and resources to come."
The Marr College works will be completed on a phased basis to minimise the impact on the school and reduce any disruption to learning and teaching. The new technical wing is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016, with pupils and staff moving into the building in January 2017. The refurbishment of the existing building and the new sports block will be complete by the end of 2017, with pupils moving in in 2018.