"We are committed to ensuring our children have the best possible start in life and are ready to succeed. As we gather here today, it is quite clear that this school is going a long way to contributing towards that.”
These were the words of Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, at the official opening of Kirn Primary School today (Wednesday 31 January).
The new school is one of Argyll and Bute Council’s flagship school projects and has been delivered in partnership with hub North Scotland Ltd and the Scottish Futures Trust through the Scottish Government’s Schools for the Future Programme.
Councillor McNeilly continued: “This wonderful new school is helping to deliver education services that work for our children and young people. It is a school very much fit for the 21st century and provides modern facilities that will benefit pupils for years to come.
“Today is a very special day and I’m delighted to be here with you to celebrate the opening of the new Kirn Primary. It is clear from looking around how happy the teachers and pupils are in their new surroundings and I would like to wish them continued happiness and success in the years ahead.”
The £9 million project is built on the existing site, with the 1881 Victorian building being retained and refurbished.
A high quality two storey building now replaces the annexes of the old school, providing bright new classrooms, an atrium and library area, sports hall, main office and reception, general purpose room and separate dining hall.
Outside, the new school has large play areas, including a multi-use games area with a synthetic surface, an improved pupil and bus drop-off area, and increased parking.
The school took 16 months to complete, during which time staff and pupils were decanted to Dunoon Grammar School for their lessons.
Head teacher at Kirn, Kirsteen MacDonald, said: The staff and pupils have settled quickly into our new surroundings and we appreciate the opportunities this new school offers.
“The school is bright and spacious, a beautiful place to work and learn which introduces the latest in technology and design whilst still valuing the historical elements. Working in such an amazing building will better support us to realise our school aims of ‘Excellence, Effort and Equality’ and to achieve the priorities laid out in ‘Our Children Their Future’.
“The school community are proud of all we have achieved and look forward to a bright future at Kirn Primary School.
hub North Scotland Chief Executive, Michael Padzinski commented “We are delighted to have successfully completed this exciting new school in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council. The school is an integral part of the local community and now provides a modern teaching and learning environment by combining the new and existing buildings. The complexity of the project has been overcome through a strong collaborative approach by Argyll and Bute Council and the project delivery team.”
Morrison Construction Project Director Jeff Hedley, said: ‘‘It was wonderful to hear how the pupils and teachers have been enjoying the new and refurbished school facilities since they moved in during November last year.
‘‘Kirn Primary School is the first of the four education facilities for Argyll and Bute Council and hub North Scotland we have delivered. Of the three other projects, Campbeltown Grammar School and Oban High School are due to be completed this spring and there has been excellent progress on the site of Dunoon Primary School.’’