The £16m project for a new Ayr Grammar will see the historic buildings completely refurbished and remodelled to create an inspiring, modern facility with capacity for more than 430 pupils, a new early years centre with 50 places, community arts facilities as well as a new Archive and Registration Centre.
The proposals involve the demolition of obsolete extensions at the back of the school, a move that will create external space for playgrounds, external teaching and car parking. The work on this phase is expected to be completed by February 2019.
With Ayr Academy’s history dating back to 1233, the current Fort Street building has been a local landmark since 1880. Ayr Academy as a school relocated to its new home at Craigie Estate in summer 2017.
The project is being delivered through hub South West with the design team led by BDP Architects.
Councillor Peter Henderson, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance said it was encouraging to see work underway, “We’re committed to providing the best possible start in life to our young people, with education playing an important role throughout their lives.
“The school has been a local landmark on Fort Street for generations and we’ve now started the journey to secure a long term future for this much loved building.
“The demolition of the old 1930s blocks will open up the site and pave the way for a safe place for our children to play in, as part of the wider proposals being considered.”
Michael McBrearty, Chief Executive of development partner, hub South West, added, “It’s fantastic to see enabling works now progressing on this exciting and innovative project that will regenerate one of the most iconic buildings in the seaside town.
“Having delivered the new and re-located Ayr Academy in partnership with South Ayrshire Council in 2017, we’re pleased to be continuing our work to redevelop the school’s old home into the new Ayr Grammar and Archive Centre.”
Morrison Construction Operation’s Director Allan Cunningham, said, ‘‘It’s an exciting milestone for this project as demolition works begin on site. We look forward to continuing our relationship with South Ayrshire Council and Hub South West and will work closely with all stakeholders to ensure works are undertaken with minimal disruption.”
Gail Gilbert, Headteacher at the current Ayr Grammar Primary School said everyone involved was excited to see the project take shape, “We’re proud to be involved in this fantastic project, with some our pupils here today top see work get underway.
“The proposed move to a new home would transform education for our young people and we look forward to seeing further progress in the months ahead.”