The sun shone on the site of Whatriggs Primary and Early Childhood Centre as future pupils joined Councillor Douglas Reid for an official ground breaking ceremony.
The school, which will welcome children and young people from Bellfield and Kirkstyle Primaries in August 2017, is already starting to take shape.
Preparations for the start of building work progressed well over the summer months. The ground was cleared ready for the foundations to be laid and, slightly ahead of schedule; the steel work was delivered and is now being erected.
Councillor Reid, Leader of the Council, who was joined at the site by Provost Jim Todd, Cllrs Tom Cook, Maureen McKay and Hugh Ross, said: “Whatriggs Primary and Early Childhood Centre will provide our children and young people with a state of the art learning environment and our community with purpose built meeting facilities.
It is a massive investment for Bellfield, in a beautiful setting in the heart of the community.
“The design is being led by the Council’s Facilities and Property Management in close consultation with Headteachers, Diane MacKinnon and Sean Maddocks; experts from our Early Years team and the Education Programme team.
“This ensures that the school will provide the very best accommodation for our young people with the team giving consideration to furniture, play equipment, quiet spaces and technology, among many other practical issues.”
The children are also being involved in all the important decisions, like choosing a new uniform. A joint competition, which was won by Holli Marshall from Bellfield Primary, allowed the children to create their own uniform and new motto – Smart Mind – Kind Heart.
The new uniform is currently being designed and will be unveiled in the near future.
Whatriggs Primary and Early Childhood Centre was designed by award winning architects, Keppie Design and the main contractor is Morrison Construction.
Morrison Construction has been working with the children from both schools delivering site safety training ensuring that they are aware of the dangers a building site can bring.
They have also been working with the Council’s Employability Service to ensure that local people have an opportunity to work at the site. The good news is that three local people are now in employment thanks to this co-operative working.
Morrison Construction is also working within the community supporting local projects. The company is due to install a ramp at Kilmarnock South Parish Church enabling disabled access.
Councillor Reid concluded: “Whatriggs is part of a large school improvement project which is taking place within East Ayrshire. We are building for the future by providing our young people with the very best learning environment.
“We are also ensuring that local people benefit from our ambitious project through employment and support to community projects.”