Pictured: House Captains next to Alness Academy sign.
This morning (28 October) pupils attending Alness Academy were welcomed into their new school building.
Chair of Education Committee, Councillor John Finlayson, said:
“Today is an exciting day for the school, it’s pupils, its staff, and the wider Alness community.
“There has been a tremendous amount of work that has gone into the school’s construction.
“I would like to thank each individual who has helped us reach today and to our Partners, Hub North Scotland and Kier Construction, for their delivery of this fantastic building which offers a modern 21st century learning environment which I am sure is welcomed and appreciated by everyone associated with the Alness Academy catchment area.”
Stewart Small, the project director for hub North Scotland, the development partner who delivered the school on behalf of The Highland Council, said:
“We are delighted to reach this landmark after a lot of hard work by all the partners involved.
“This new building has already created many community benefits through jobs for long-term unemployed, valuable work experience opportunities and contracts for small and medium-sized businesses.
“It is a magnificent facility which will be enjoyed by pupils and the Alness community for many years to come.”
Phil McDowell, regional director for Kier Regional Building in Scotland states:
“We are delighted to hand over the new building and amenities at Alness Academy.
“Over the past two years, we have worked collaboratively with The Highland Council and hub North Scotland to deliver first-class facilities that will aid development and allow pupils to thrive.
“We are proud to have supported local communities in the highlands over the duration of this project, having created 12 jobs, provided nearly 40 training opportunities and carried out four community projects.
“This demonstrates the commitments we made to The Highland Council at the start of this process and supports our aim to leave lasting legacies in the areas where we build.
“We hope students and the wider community enjoy using these state-of-the-art facilities at Alness Academy for years to come.”
The new Alness Academy is a 9475m2 secondary school designed to accommodate 660 pupils and to replace the existing facility on the same site.
The new building is directly to the east of the existing school and the existing buildings will be demolished to allow completion of the site wide proposals with two all-weather sports pitches.
The new school is formed of two adjacent but separate elements for flexibility of operation: a sports block housing a 4 court games hall, gymnasium and 6 lane 25m pool, and a two-storey main teaching block. The L-shaped teaching block has 14 general teaching classrooms, 6 science labs and other associated science facilities, 3 arts and ceramic classrooms, technologies & business classrooms and workshops, music & drama classrooms/practice rooms, hair & beauty salon, a traditional teaching kitchen (Home Economics) and a number of SEBN (Social, Emotional & Behavioural Needs) and ASN (Additional Support Needs) classrooms and associated facilities.
The classrooms and breakout areas wrap around a double height assembly, dining, and drama space with a central open plan learning resource centre.
Generous glazing and rooflights bring natural light and ventilation into the heart of the building.
Use of the sports facilities, which include two all-weather sports pitches, will be shared between the school and the community.
Alness Academy’s Acting Head Teacher, Mr. Donald MacRae, said:
“I am thrilled to welcome our pupils into our amazing new school building this morning.
“We have been looking forward to this day and now our school community can enjoy the facilities that our new home has to offer.
“This is a very exciting day for us and our local community”.