New school will be superb facility

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THE new Mearns Academy is set to be a “superb facility” according to the school’s rector Mr Ian Parkin who spoke to Monday’s meeting of Mearns Community Council.

Mr Parkin said that the move towards a new school was gathering momentum, mainly due to the fact that the money on offer from the Scottish Government is only available for a certain time.

The rector said that there is a stakeholder meeting scheduled for February 17 and a school management group has been set up.

“The emerging facility looks tremendous in terms of layout and design,” said Mr Parkin, who had with him indicative plans of the building.

“The building will be on three levels, but because of the fall of the ground, level one will not be the main entrance level.

“There is to be a theatre, significant public space and a sports facilities wing.

“Level two will be the public entrance level and this level will also house the community facilities.

“Level three will consist of further teaching areas.”

The rector went on to say that the forthcoming stakeholder meeting (of which the community council had not been informed at that point) would be quite significant.

“The authority are looking to engage very quickly. There is a swift pace to things, but I can say that we are looking at a superb facility.”

Mr Parkin said it was significant that Aberdeenshire Council had agreed to build a school with teaching areas for 640 pupils initially, but with the core area built to accommodate 840.

In his report to the community council Mr Parkin said the school had been the subject of a recent HMI inspection.

He said there were on-going discussions about school transport issues and he expressed regret at recent vandalism at Denlethen Woods, reported in this newspaper last week.

Earlier in the meeting Fraser Thomson, chair of the local Youth Forum spoke to the council.

He explained the work the Youth Forum has done and is continuing to do.

Their role includes challenging the decision makers and putting forward what young people of the area want as well as developing leadership and team-building skills.

The recent HMI inspection also looked at youth involvement in the community and is understood to have been impressed with the pro-active approach.