Saturday, 26 August 2017
Start of a new era as the ‘amazing’ Ayr Academy opens for classes
Education for young people at South Ayrshire’s oldest school has been transformed following the relocation of Ayr Academy. South Ayrshire Council has now welcomed the first generation of young people to the new building, which fully opened on Monday 21 August.
[Pictured at the official opening, left to right: Cllr Iain Campbell, Cllr Laura Brennan-Whitefield, Executive Headteacher, Lyndsay McRoberts, Head Girl, Maia Wilson, Council Leader, Douglas Campbell, Director of Educational Services, Douglas Hutchison, Head Boy, Mathew Field, Cllr Ian Davis, Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning, William Grant, Head of Property and Risk, Donald Gillies, Cllr Ian Cavana, Cllr Martin Dowey.]
Construction of the £25million school began at Ayr's Craigie Estate in January 2016. With a history dating back to 1233, the last incarnation was built in 1880 and closed earlier this year. Its eye-catching replacement has space for up to 1,000 pupils, and also features two learning plazas, a multi-use hall, two gyms and a fitness/movement room, and sports pitches.
The school was built by Kier Construction and delivered by South Ayrshire Council in partnership with SWHub.
Councillor William Grant, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning, said, "Looking around you can see that young people and staff are already making the most of an amazing new building that will transform education for generations of families.
“Based in the Craigie Campus, the new school will forge close links with the University of the West of Scotland and Ayrshire College, with young people being coached and encouraged to go on to positive destinations when they leave.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping to deliver this project on time and on budget, and wish all the young people, families, and staff the best of luck as we move into an exciting new era for this evolving educational success story.”
The intention is that the school will also become a hub for the local community. It is much more than a school and will be a great venue for sporting activities, community meetings and other activities. The development is intended as an investment in North Ayr as a community and not only an investment in education.
Lyndsay McRoberts, Executive Headteacher at Ayr Academy said she was sure the new school provided an inspiring learning environment, “While we were sorry to leave our old home, the new building delivers a step change in the way we teach, a factor that will leave a long and lasting impact on the lives of young people.
“This stylish and flexible building allows us to continue doing what we did best before, while also leaving room to deliver classes in ways that just weren’t possible before.
“Better laid out, and using the latest technology, this fabulous new resource still has plenty of space to evolve as our school grows in the years ahead.”
Head Girl, Maia Wilson (16) said she loved the new building, “It’s a huge change from the old building and a fantastic place to come to school.”
Head Boy, Mathew Field (16) said they were still getting used to their new surroundings, “I think it will be a few weeks before we really get into our routine but it’s great to be here.”
The project is part of a £94million pipeline of works being delivered across South Ayrshire in the next year, with the aim of enhancing standards through targeted investment.
Michael McBrearty, Chief Executive of hub South West, said, “Ayr Academy Campus is a wonderful state-of-the-art facility that I’m sure all students and teachers will enjoy.
“It is the latest project we’ve delivered on behalf of South Ayrshire Council in the past twelve months and is great tribute to partnership working that we can now celebrate the finished result. The new campus will be a great asset.”
Brian McQuade, Managing Director of Kier Construction’s Scotland and North-East England business, said, “We’re pleased to have delivered this leading, modern Academy with fantastic new sports facilities for students and the wider community to enjoy, building on our track record of delivering quality schools throughout Scotland.
“Through hub South West, we have worked with local suppliers and SME’s to ensure that the project boosts the local economy of Ayr and the surrounding area, including training and employment opportunities. During the construction of Ayr Academy we’ve created 17 work placements, 16 apprenticeships and two graduated traineeships, giving local young people valuable experience of working in this thriving and rewarding industry.”
A set of 12 images from the official opening of the new Ayr Academy is available on the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle’s Flickr website CLICK HERE.
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.