To mark the occasion, pupils from all schools and members of the local community prepared time capsules to be buried on the site, containing items of local relevance and importance. The young people delighted guests with their explanations of the contents of their capsules, which included school ties, photographs, press cuttings, timetables, music items and teacher survival kits.
Mr Swinney commended the young people for their contributions, saying that they were “outstanding in how they represented their school and great examples of why Scotland can be confident of its future”, before donning a headset to take a virtual reality tour of the new campus.
“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.''
Eddie Robertson, Morrison Construction’s Managing Director for Central Scotland, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Deputy First Minister and members of East Ayrshire Council to celebrate this important project milestone.
‘‘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.”
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council said: “Today’s event marks a significant milestone for the Barony Campus and I’m delighted that John Swinney was able to join these young people and members of our community in celebrating this occasion.
“This campus will offer our young learners every opportunity to explore new horizons, learning in new and dynamic ways and to fire their imaginations, building on this fantastic legacy of achievement.
“Looking further ahead, it’s exciting to think it will inspire and drive a new educational heritage, and be a stunning community facility serving our pupils, and local residents for many more generations to come.”