Land deal not done

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A DEAL for the purchase of the land for the new Mearns Academy has still not been formally concluded, but Mearns Community Council were told this week that officials were “not concerned”.

Chairman David Nelson said the chief executive of the council had been asked that question at a meeting in Laurencekirk last week and the answer was “no”.

Academy rector Ian Parkin told members that the exisiting school has to be formally closed - followed shortly he confidently predicted by the opening of the new facility.

A meeting will be held in Laurencekirk on September 15 to explain the whole process.

“We are at a quite detailed stage regarding planning. An artist is working on designs and he will work closely with pupils.

“Issues are still being raised about the community aspects.”

The rector said that at the moment his S2 is over-full. The new S1 fits fine, but he warned that next year’s S1 will be over-capacity.

“There are significant pressures on the roll until we get the new school and it is clearly important that the new school has sufficient capacity.”

Buses were running trouble-free in the new session, although Mr Parkin reported that with the provision of transport not obligatory for out of zone children, if a bus did not run, responsibility for getting the child to school fell on the parents.

Councillor George Carr said that the situation regarding community facilities in Laurencekirk still had a long way to go to reach resolution.

“No quick decision can be made regarding the community centre. That has been accepted, although we will need to keep saying it.

“We must not have the work of those using the community centre compromised until as solution is found.”

Mr Parkin praised the Momentum Scheme run by the polcie and other agencies where young people get taught basic car maintenance. He hoped the money would be found for this to continue.