Aberdeenshire schools in for a boost as councillors agree upgrades

Plans for a new primary school in Kinellar have taken another step forward as councillors approve the next stage of their development.

Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Policy & Resources Committee today agreed that the new school, which will accommodate 450 primary and 40 nursery pupils, will be built on the site of the current one, which is to be demolished.

Pupils will be bused to Midmill Primary School in Kintore, which is due to open in early 2017, to be taught while the new Kinellar Primary is being built.

The project also includes a new multi-use games area, a life skills room and sensory room for pupils with additional support needs, a new community play park and car parking for use by the school and community.

A planning application can now be submitted with community consultation ongoing.

Chair of the committee and council Co-Leader, Cllr Martin Kitts-Hayes, said:
“The new primary school in Kinellar is part of the council’s drive to make sure every school community in Aberdeenshire can benefit from modern and exciting facilities fit for the 21st century.

“We’re all pleased to see the plans progressing and would like to thank such active engagement by council officers with the local community, who are very supportive of this project.”

Vice-chair and council Co-Leader, Cllr Richard Thomson, said: “This is another key milestone in our investment in the school estate in Aberdeenshire and officers’ work to respond to all the points that have been raised by the community has been exemplary.

“I’m sure local residents are looking forward to seeing work starting on the new school as soon as possible.”

Chair of the council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee, Cllr Alison Evison, said: “The feedback we’ve received from residents in the Kinellar area on the new school has been very positive and I’m pleased to see that it will remain at the heart of the local community.”

As well as approving the replacement Kinellar Primary, councillors agreed the council should move forward with plans for various upgrades at a number of other Aberdeenshire schools.

Construction of a £1.3m nursery extension at Aboyne Primary School will now begin this summer with work expected to be finished in early 2017.

The new nursery will replace the temporary accommodation currently used and will be able to accommodate 50 children between the ages of two and five years old. The school entrance will also be improved and the former nursery area converted into a space for general use.

Councillors also approved an extension to Bervie School which is expected to cost an estimated £1.9 million. The new nursery will have capacity for 50 children and will include a coats’ area, parents’ room, quiet area, changing room, toilets and kitchen area, as well as a flexible teaching space for primary pupils.

Two new outdoor play areas will also be built for nursery and P1 pupils and as part of the council’s push towards sustainable energy, photovoltaic solar panels will be installed on part of the new roof.

Finally, Kemnay Academy will soon sport a new all-weather pitch, allowing the school to introduce sports that currently cannot be played, such as hockey, into the curriculum and for outdoor PE lessons to take place all year round.

Currently there is not a full-sized 3G pitch in the Kemnay area and the new addition will serve not only school pupils but local sports teams and wider community.