The £68m Campus had been progressing on schedule but lockdown meant that all construction work on site had to stop in March. Now back on site and back on track, the company have reprogrammed the remaining works and have confirmed their new target date.
Alex McPhee, the Council’s Depute Chief Executive & Chief Financial Officer said: “This has been a challenging time for many sectors, including the construction industry and Morrison have worked closely with the Council to make sure the new campus can be completed as early as possible. Confirmation that the official handover date will be Friday 9 October is very welcome news and reflects our shared ambitions for the project.”
Linda McAulay-Griffiths, Head of Education said: “I am delighted that Morrison Construction has confirmed the new handover date for the Barony Campus. Our ambitious school building programme over the last few years means we have a wealth of experience of moving children and young people into new schools. For Barony this will mean a phased approach with the Robert Burns Academy pupils moving in first followed a few weeks later by Lochnorris Primary School, Hillside School and Cherry Trees Early Childhood Centre.
“All of the arrangements we are putting in place will reflect the most up to date guidance from the Scottish Government on the return of children and young people to school.”
Exceptional closure dates need final approval from the Scottish Government and this is expected in the next few days. On the basis of that approval being received, the phased opening of the Barony Campus will take place on the following dates.
Timetable for opening the Robert Burns Academy:
Thursday 8 and Friday 9 October
Exceptional closure of Auchinleck and Cumnock Academies plus the Supported Learning Centre to allow for the packing of resources.
Monday 12 to Friday 16 October
Movement of furniture, resources and equipment.
Tuesday 20 to Friday 23 October
Exceptional closure to allow for educational set up by teaching staff.
Monday 26 October
The Robert Burns Academy opens to pupils.
Timetable for opening Cherry Trees Early Childhood Centre, Hillside School and Lochnorris Primary School and Supported Learning Centre
Thursday 12 and Friday 13 November
Exceptional closure of Barshare Primary School and Supported Learning Centre and Early Childhood Centre, Greenmill Primary School and Early Childhood Centre and Hillside School to allow staff to pack up all resources.
Friday 13 to Monday 16 November
Relocate all resources, furniture and equipment to the new campus.
Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 November
Exceptional closure of Barshare Primary School and Supported Learning Centre and Early Childhood Centre, Greenmill Primary School and Early Childhood Centre and Hillside School for educational set up by teaching staff.
Wednesday 18 November
Cherry Trees Early Childhood Centre, Hillside School and Lochnorris Primary School and Supported Learning Centre open for our children and young people.
A more detailed programme for the move will be issued by Head Teachers and the Head of Campus over the next few weeks including specific arrangements on timings for the first day, dining facilities, the new travel plan and transport arrangements.
Specific information on the pattern of provision for Cherry Trees Early Childhood Centre will also be issued to parents and carers.
All children and young people can either wear their new Barony uniforms when they return to their respective schools in August or continue to wear their current uniform. The new uniforms are available from the usual outlets including Donsport and Kenny’s Kilts in Cumnock, Just Jeans in Auchinleck and Blu Design in Mauchline.
Councillor Fiona Campbell, Cabinet Member for Skills and Learning said: “It would have been impossible to imagine back in January when pupils and teachers visited the Barony Campus site just what 2020 would have in store. Life as we know it has completely changed and lockdown, which has been essential to protect the NHS and save lives, has brought significant challenges to people and businesses.
“I would like to thank our employees and Morrison Construction for ensuring that they could get safely back on site as quickly as possible and that the build can be completed by October, a wonderful achievement considering the significant impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the construction industry.
“The Barony Campus will ensure that our children and young people will have every opportunity to achieve their full potential. The facilities will be exceptional, utilising the very latest technology including Scotland’s first interactive and immersive room.
“The new Campus offers an unprecedented level of sports provision, including two full sized, flood-lit synthetic pitches of world class rugby standard which are already open for school, sports club and public use, a 400m 4-lane running track with 6 lane sprint, 2 full sized grass pitches, a 7 aside floodlit synthetic pitch and an outdoor basketball court, together with 13 indoor courts in various configurations.
“Community recreation space will include a community café, meeting rooms, a theatre space, enterprise kitchen for catering, recording studio, music practice rooms and project space for textiles/crafts and pottery.
“The Barony Campus is going to have a huge impact on our children and young people and the local community and I can’t wait to visit once it is fully open in November."