A £2million extension to Milne’s Primary School has been completed.
The five-classroom, 6,800 sq ft building was completed on budget, and will welcome new pupils and nursery children in the new school year.
Keys for the building were handed over to the chair of Moray Council’s Children and Young Person’s Committee, Cllr Sonya Warren.
The energy-efficient building features solar panels, under-floor heating and air conditioning which adjust flows through the classrooms. It includes staffrooms, offices and quiet time and ancillary facilities which will also support increased nursery provision.
At the handover and ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by local councillors, Cllr Warren said she was delighted to see the new building finished.
“It’s marvellous to see this extension completed; it’s transformed the school and the provision for our young people in Fochabers,” she said.
“Building a sympathetic extension to a listed building, and retaining its functionality, is always a challenge but I’m delighted to see the results. It looks fabulous and I’m sure the nursery and school pupils will enjoy their time in it.”
The new extension, which received equal funding from Moray Council and the Scottish Government, will allow the school’s 200 primary-aged pupils and 20 nursery children to all be taught within the same building.
Following the completion of the extension, the second phase of the project will see the existing nursery school demolished during the school holidays. In its place a new play area and outdoor amphitheatre will be created.
Contractors Morgan Sindall was appointed by Moray Council to carry out the extension of the Category A listed school, which is built of ashlar sandstone, with a slate roof and dates back to 1846.
Stuart Parker, managing director of Morgan Sindall in Scotland, said: “Expanding historic buildings requires a sympathetic approach and a particular skillset which many contractors simply don’t have anymore.
“Milne’s Primary is one of several listed buildings which our special works team has been commissioned to deliver. The finished project is a brilliant example of blending new with old. We’re incredibly proud to hand it over and confident it will support learning at the site for years to come.”
Convener of Moray Council, and local ward member, Cllr Shona Morrison, also attended the handover.
She said: “I’m thrilled to see the progress of the building works here at Milne’s Primary. Over the last 10 years both my children have attended this school, and I’ve previously been Chair of the Parent Council, so it’s very close to my heart.”
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.