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Work On New Primary Could Start Next Year
Planning applications have been submitted for two of the new school buildings set to be constructed in Airdrie.
Details of the new home for the amalgamated Dunrobin and Petersburn primaries and a joint campus replacing the existing adjacent Tollbrae and St Edward’s primaries are now awaiting decision by North Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee.
Council leader Jim Logue is hopeful that work on the two new facilities could start early in 2017, with pupils potentially entering their new classrooms in August 2018.
The plans for the new merged Dunrobin and Petersburn school – including a nursery and learning support unit – show a curved two-storey building to be constructed on Dunrobin’s current playing fields in Petersburn Road.
A second phase of the project would involve demolishing the existing school to expand the new facility’s playground and parking facilities, followed by the installation of a synthetic sports pitch at the Glen Road end of the site.
Councillors agreed in February 2015 to merge the two schools in a new building as part of the same programme of school construction which includes the new shared Tollbrae and St Edward’s campus.
Those two schools currently sit on adjacent sites on South Biggar Road in Gartlea and plans for their new homes show a building with two classroom wings connected by a shared gym, dining hall and multi-purpose rooms.
Consisting of 20 classrooms over two floors plus two nurseries, the new building would again be on the site of the two schools’ existing playing fields.
The existing schools would later be demolished, with car parking to be constructed where Tollbrae currently stands and a floodlit synthetic pitch on the existing St Edward’s site.
Both applications will go forward to a future meeting of the planning committee and the decision will also be referred to the Scottish Government for final approval as North Lanarkshire Council is both the applicant and deciding authority.
Airdrie Central councillor Jim Logue was the authority’s learning and leisure convener before taking up the top post in March.
He said: “It takes around 12 to 15 months to build a primary school from start to finish, although we’re always reluctant to put a definite date on as there can be issues with weather conditions or other difficulties.
“I’d be disappointed if these two projects didn’t start on site by early 2017 and if we weren’t talking about entry for pupils and staff in August 2018.
“Every school has a distinctive design, internally and externally. Our schools don’t all look alike, far from it.
“The first time pupils go in there’s a big wow factor. You can see it’s a much more modern environment, fit for purpose and for today’s learning and teaching.
“The standard classroom is an outdated concept now and it’s so much nicer for pupils and staff to go to a quality building.”
Plans for the new St Stephen’s and merged Carnbroe/Sikeside are at an earlier stage, with a proposal of application notice having been submitted to planners.
The selected site is at Paddock Street, on the site of the current Calder Community Centre and recreation ground, beside St Stephen’s Church.
Indicative plans involve the demolition of the community centre, to be replaced with community facilities in the new building.
An open meeting is due to take place at Calder Community Centre on August 23. The three schools’ parent councils are being consulted this month and the public can make comments until October 7.
The current phase of the Schools and Centres 21 programme also includes building a new St Dominic’s Primary in Petersburn, a move agreed a month before the school building was destroyed by fire in March 2015.
A new school is to be built on the same site and is currently at the design stage. Pupils and staff have been accommodated in a converted wing of St Margaret’s High for the past 18 months.