Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills John Swinney visited and poured a final piece of concrete on the top floor, marking significant progress on the school’s build with work having started on site eight months ago.
The City of Edinburgh Council school will have many facilities which are easily accessible to the public including the multi purpose assembly space with retractable seating that can be used for drama shows and film screenings. Similarly, areas like dining, CDT, food tech and art have been positioned so they can be easily accessed by the community for out of hours classes for maximum use of all these areas.
The plans also incorporate a sports hall and new six lane swimming pool - increased in size from four lanes after taking into account community feedback. Externally there will be a new full sized 3G pitch for football within the site and access to a full sized 3G pitch for rugby and football (off site) as well a sprint area, long jump, shot put provision, rounders pitch and three hard play spaces marked out for basketball/netball.
The new school will be built on the current school’s playing fields and, following completion, the old school will be demolished, with the area landscaped and a new pitch created on the site.
During the site visit, the Deputy First Minister was welcomed by Cllr Alison Dickie, Vice Convener of Education, Children and Families, as well as the schools head teacher John Wood, pupils from each year group, the Council’s development partner Hub South East, and main contractor, Morrison Construction.
Councillor Alison Dickie, Vice Convener for Education, said: “The new school is a great example of how we are innovatively building schools for the future to support greater accessibility and inclusion for all young people. The learning support and guidance suite has been purposely designed with direct input from specialist staff and the interior environment, in terms of lighting and acoustics, furniture and decoration, has been designed to accommodate pupils with a wide range of needs. We will continue to develop our designs for future school projects so they meet our inclusion aspirations and provide a much more inclusive environment promoting greater health and wellbeing.
“It was really positive to hear how the contractors are engaging with pupils, especially females, at the school to encourage real life learning skills and showing them the opportunities for careers in the construction industry. The building of this fantastic school is literally opening up doors for new career paths that our young people may never have considered previously.”
Morrison Construction, Operation’s Director, David Wilson said: ‘‘We are delighted to host Deputy First Minister John Swinney and members of the City of Edinburgh Council on site today as we celebrate this exciting project milestone in Queensferry.
‘‘Good progress has been made on site since our guests last visited. The upper floor concrete works are now complete with the external enveloping works now underway. The site team is due to begin the internal fit for the education facility in March. Morrison Construction’s community benefits programme has so far enabled more than 600 pupils and 60 college students visit site to learn about our industry and the opportunities it offers. Local pupils, college students and young people in pre-employment programmes have also completed 60 days of work placement on site."
Roddy Clark, Hub South East’s Projects Director, said: “We’re delighted to have welcomed the Deputy First Minister and guests along to mark such an important milestone in the new Queensferry High School’s construction. It really is taking shape and is set to be a fantastic, modern learning space for pupils and staff.
“Hub South East is keen to bring innovative ideas and added value to the projects we deliver and today we were particularly proud to showcase the new school’s low carbon design. Ultimately this will not only satisfy increasing environmental targets but it should have a beneficial effect on the learning environment and educational attainment for its young people.”
Work on site is progressing well and is on schedule to be handed over in Spring 2020.