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Four New Schools Needed
A review of primary education around the planned Glenboig development area has revealed that four new school buildings could be required in the next decade to accommodate an influx of new residents.
Glenboig, Gartcosh, Chryston and St Barbara’s are all eventually projected to need new premises for their projected rising rolls after 2021; with Our Lady & St Joseph’s, currently co-located with Glenboig, expanding to occupy the entire existing joint campus.
The cost of the potential new schools – to accommodate up to 1230 additional youngsters – is estimated at £40 million, while reconfiguration of the joint campus would be a further £20,000.
Around £18m in contributions from builders would be anticipated, as the rising rolls relate to more than 4000 new homes anticipated for the Gartcosh and Glenboig growth area and surrounding developments.
Councillors on the learning and leisure committee considered a report on the issue at a special meeting, and were told: “Land release and housebuilding on this scale has not occurred in North Lanarkshire for many years and will have a significant impact.”
Suggested plans covering the next five years include reconfiguring space at the Glenboig campus to create two new classes and capping intakes at Gartcosh and Chryston, where huts already provide extra classroom space.
Beyond 2020, Glenboig “is projected to require an additional 128 spaces due to the impact of new housing” – doubling its existing capacity – meaning that “it’s anticipated that a new school building on a different site will be required; the timing would depend on the rate of building”.
Our Lady & St Joseph’s, which would by then need an extra five classrooms, “would take over the full existing campus”.
Gartcosh’s projected numbers would be 421, compared to its capacity of 259, and with no scope to extend the school, “it is anticipated that an alternative site would be required for a new school building”.
Learning and leisure members were told: “Given that it is not cost effective to carry out any major works, the top priority would be to secure land and build a new school between now and 2020.”
Chryston Primary would need an extra 156 spaces, with the report adding: “Given the proximity to Chryston High, a two-to-18-year campus is being considered.”
St Barbara’s could potentially have 224 extra pupils, with a new building on its current Muirhead site suggested as “the best option in the longer term”.
Learning and leisure convener Jim Logue said: “We’ve been giving close consideration to the challenges for education in this area – it’s vitally important we plan so we have capacity and high-quality provision.”
Individual proposals will be brought forward as phasing of developments and precise pupil numbers progress.
James McKinstry, the council’s head of educational resources, added: “These solutions are long-term and a number of factors will come into play, such as the pace of new building and available funding.
“It’s essential we continue to monitor the situation; the review is a good starting point, and each individual proposal will be subject to detailed future reports.”