The start of work at the Barony Campus, Cummnock, has been marked with a foundation stone ceremony, attended by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.
The new £68M campus is Scotland’s most innovative and ambitious community learning project, offering unparalleled educational, sporting, social, enterprise and leisure opportunities to children, young people and the local community.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council, welcomed the Deputy First Minister, saying: “East Ayrshire is leading Scotland with this Campus, which has been brought to life thanks to the input from pupils, parents, teachers and the wider local communities.
“East Ayrshire Council has education and the success of our children firmly at the heart of our Capital Investment Programme and I am delighted to welcome the Deputy First Minister to lay the foundation stone at the Barony Campus.
“This is easily the biggest capital investment we have ever undertaken and the Barony Campus will be nothing short of extraordinary.
“It will offer an up-to-the-minute learning and teaching environment to enable every child and young person to reach their full potential, regardless of their background, as well as giving the local community access to a host of superb sports, leisure, educational and social facilities.”
Deputy First Minister, John Swinney said: “I would like to thank East Ayrshire Council for inviting me to unveil the foundation stone at the site of the new Barony Campus and help mark the start of the process which will result in a fantastic facility that the whole community can be proud of.
“Thanks to the vision and imagination of East Ayrshire Council and Morrison Construction, this Campus will be the focus for the hopes and aspirations of our young people, bringing together all aspects their learning journey in truly inclusive and integrated learning environment.
“The innovation and design fits perfectly with our vision for education into the future and I congratulate the Council on what promises to be an outstanding new facility for all.
“The Scottish Government’s £1.8Bn Schools for the Future programme will see 117 schools replaced or refurbished by 2020. I am extremely pleased that as part of this we have been able to contribute £16.7M towards the £90M construction and refurbishment projects at Hurlford, Whatriggs, Muirkirk Primary Schools and the Barony Campus.
“I wish the school, and everybody in it, all the very best for the future and look forward to visiting the Campus again once it is completed.”
The Deputy First Minister was also treated to a Virtual Reality tour of the campus, which will comprise four new establishments:
- Robert Burns Academy, an amalgamation of Auchinleck and Cumnock Academies
- Lochnorris Primary School, combining Barshare and Greenmill Primary Schools
- Hillside School, which will be purpose built for young people with complex additional needs.
- and Cherry Trees Early Childhood Centre.
Eddie Robertson, Morrison Construction’s Managing Director for Central Scotland, said: “‘The steel frame installation, underway since the start of the month, is beginning to give shape to the first-class facilities we will deliver for the Cumnock and Auchinleck communities. The car park is nearing completion and the works for the 3G pitches are well underway.
‘‘We will continue working hard with all stakeholders involved to make sure we continue our excellent progress and deliver a first-class facility.”