topping out ceremony at new QMA
The latest new-build school in South Ayrshire took an important step forward this week with the completion of the main structure of the new Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr.
This latest success means the state-of-the-art school is well on track for opening its doors in October 2019.
Built in the grounds of the existing academy, the new school is keenly anticipated as it's set to not only transform learning and teaching, but will also significantly enhance facilities for the local community.
The new £25 million building will have space for up to 800 young people, with modern classrooms, massive games hall, two all-weather pitches, games courts and a host of other exciting facilities which are sure to impress pupils, staff and the wider public.
Kier Construction is building the school, which is being delivered by South Ayrshire Council in partnership with hub South West. The project is part of a £94million programme of works delivered across South Ayrshire with the aim of boosting education standards through targeted investment in schools and communities.
Councillor Peter Henderson, Resources and Performance Portfolio Holder at South Ayrshire Council said: "Our new, extended and refurbished schools are completely transforming learning across South Ayrshire and the new Queen Margaret Academy is shaping up to do more of the same. We're committed to creating modern learning environments that not only inspire children and young people, but provide an important hub and network for the local community.
"We want those attending our schools to achieve their full potential when they move on from school and our focus on providing the best education possible, with the best facilities, means we are on our way to achieving this ambition.
"Our schools always play a key role in local life so we're ensuring that their excellent sports facilities can be accessed by the wider public. We also ensure there are areas of our schools that can be used by community groups and the new Queen Margaret Academy will be no different."
Michael McBrearty, Chief Executive of delivery partner, hub South West Scotland, said:"The new Queen Margaret Academy is an ongoing success on so many levels, with the enthusiasm of all participating partners working on this project reflected in the excellent progress being made.
"hub South West are delighted to be expanding on our portfolio of work with South Ayrshire Council, with the new Queen Margaret Academy being the 8th project we
will have delivered on behalf of the Authority once construction is complete in October 2019.
"The new school will be a fantastic contemporary and innovative learning environment that will create an abundance of opportunities and benefits to the entire community."
Brian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction Scotland & north-east England, said: "Kier has a solid history of building schools throughout Scotland and it is an exciting time as we 'top out' this leading education facility with hub South West for South Ayrshire Council, which will benefit both students and the wider Ayrshire community.
"Throughout the build, we have worked with local suppliers to ensure that the project boosts the local economy. Up to 60 people have been on site during peak periods of activity and to date we have created 1 apprenticeship, 7 work placements and 3 student summer intern placements. This has provided young local talent the opportunity to gain valuable experience working on a state-of-the-art building and a unique insight into the built environment and the diverse range of roles available."
Oonagh Browne Head Teacher at Queen Margaret Academy said: "It's exciting to see our new school taking shape. Parents, young people and staff were crucial in planning the facilities for our new school, so it's very much their project and this only increases their anticipation".
The Bishop of Galloway, Right Reverend William Nolan said: "While the ground works were taking place little seemed to be happening on site but in recent months the structure of the building has sprung up, giving a sense of excitement and anticipation as we look forward to the completion next year of a centre of learning that will inspire our young people."
When the new school opens, the old building will be demolished and the site fully landscaped.