Primary school modernisation progress
Published Wednesday, 12 September 2012
The council is storming ahead with its programme to provide first class accommodation for every child in its schools.
A progress report to the council's Executive Committee confirmed that 70 primary schools have now been completed along with 38 nursery classes, 17 bases for children with additional support needs and 11 community wings.
Sixty six of the primaries were new builds and four schools were remodelled to new build standards. Four stand alone nursery centres have also been extensively refurbished.
By the end of 2012, Coulter, Blackwood, Quarter, Stonehouse and Spittal Primaries will also be completed.
Noting the great progress that is being made, the Executive Committee agreed that two more schools originally earmarked for refurbishment will be replaced completely. Kirkton Primary in Carluke and Kirklandpark Primary in Strathaven are now on the programme for replacement.
Hollandbush, one of South Lanarkshire's biggest nursery centres is also to be replaced, and the Executive Director of Education, Larry Forde has also been asked to develop proposals to modernise the Early Learning Unit on Carlisle Road Hamilton and the First Step Community Nursery in Hillhouse.
Leader of South Lanarkshire Council, Councillor Eddie McAvoy, said: "The progress that's being made on schools modernisation is just astonishing and it's great to see so much being achieved despite the current financial pressures.
"Two years ago, we completed the secondary school programme, building 17 brand new secondaries and refurbishing two others.
"This report shows that since we launched the Primary Schools Modernisation Programme in 2004, 62% of primary children have been moved into great buildings with another 60 schools on track for completion in the next few years.
"Results from pupils at the new secondaries are better than ever, so it shows that providing great new buildings gives a real boost to teachers and young people and our attainment levels are going up.
"The schools modernisation programme is also providing a good deal of work for people in the construction industry at a time when it's badly needed."
Councillor McAvoy also paid tribute to all the council employees who have been playing a part in delivering the schools modernisation programme in such an effective way. The project is spearheaded by a five strong team in the Schools Modernisation Unit, but virtually every council service participates from Housing and Technical Resources to Planning, Roads, IT, community facilities and the South Lanarkshire Leisure Trust.
The unit co-ordinates the entire process, including consultation with teachers and parents, building design, construction contracts, liaising with external bodies including Historic Scotland, sportscotland and the Scottish Government, arranging decants and flittings plus any issues that arise during the build.
For example, the modernisation of Crawfordjohn Primary School was delayed following the discovery of archaeological remains but the building work will get underway in 2013.