To celebrate the opening of a brand new, custom-built facility which will accommodate both St Margaret's Primary School and Cowie Nursery, local residents in Cowie attended a Community Open Day on Wednesday 24th August to see the new building for themselves.
St Margaret’s Primary School was identified as a priority for investment by Stirling Council’s Education Committee in 2010. Although it was earmarked as the next major school refurbishment, the existing school was found to be unsuitable and the decision was taken to rebuild instead.
Project planning started in 2013, involving consultation with the local community. People were asked for their view on three alternative locations in Cowie. A site at Berryhills was overwhelmingly favoured, as it provides an accessible location in the heart of the community with access to great external space.
The scope of the project was extended to include Cowie Nursery, replacing the existing provision for three to five year olds with increased facilities that can provide for up to 85 children from 0 to five years. While the new Cowie Nursery will be in the same building as the new St Margaret’s Primary School, it will be a stand-alone, independent facility.
In addition to the primary school and nursery, there are also a number of facilities within the building that can be utilised by the local community, including sports changing facilities and flexible community hall space.
I was enormously impressed when I was shown round this fantastic new building. Stirling Council team and the contractors have produced a wonderful new school and nursery, and the parents and children at the open day all seemed to be delighted.
– Education Convenor Alistair Berrill
Robertson Central was the Tier 1 contractor, and we began building the new facility in July 2015. The official handover of the premises took place on the 9th August 2016. The school opened on Thursday 25th August 2016 in time for the new academic term.
David Cairns, Regional Managing Director, Robertson Central, said: “This has been an ambitious construction project and one which we were proud to deliver to the highest specification. It is exciting to see the new school and nursery ready to welcome its first pupils, and I’m sure this will prove to be a fantastic facility for the young children who attend.”
The contract for the new facility is between Stirling Council and Hub East Central Scotland Ltd and is a joint partnership between public and private sector organisations, aimed at developing and delivering better local services across East Central Scotland.
Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive of Hub East Central Scotland Ltd said: "We worked closely with Stirling Council to manage the project to completion and hand over a high quality school building that meets the long term needs of children, teachers and the wider community. This project delivered additional community benefits with 89% of the work delivered by local people, as well as the creation of 9 work placements and 12 apprenticeships."