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Morgan Sindall breaks ground on £15.3 million Balloch campus

Construction company Morgan Sindall begins work on purpose-built £15.3 million education campus in West Dunbartonshire.

Posted by Hannah Oakman | November 17, 2016 | Bricks & mortar

Construction and infrastructure firm Morgan Sindall has begun on the multi-million pound campus in Balloch, West Dunbartonshire. The occasion was marked with a traditional turf cutting ceremony, attended by representatives from Morgan Sindall and West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC), along with staff and pupils. 

The design and build contract was awarded to Morgan Sindall by the council through the LHC Schools & Community Buildings Framework. The new 53,280 sq ft campus will be built on the site of the recently demolished St Kessog’s Primary School on Dalvait Road. It will allow three existing schools to come together in a modern learning environment, with capacity for 747 pupils.

The campus’ single building will eventually house two distinct primary schools and a new pre-school facility. St Kessog’s will retain its name and its Roman Catholic identity and a new Balloch Primary School, formed by the merger of Jamestown and Haldane primaries, will share the site.

There will be an Additional Support Needs (ASN) base, capable of supporting 36 pupils with a range of needs, complete with its own dedicated play area, featuring structured quiet zones and specialist equipment. The innovative classroom layout also supports this aim, with 21 flexible learning spaces, helping to support collaborative learning. Jamestown Early Learning and Childcare Centre, which educates children between the ages of three and five years old, will also relocate to the site

Plans for the school also feature a centrally located shared administrative area, alongside a gym hall, dining room and assembly area for use by all students. 

Designing and building an environment where individual schools can come together, while retaining their distinct identities is a challenge, but one that Morgan Sindall is well equipped to deal with

The building’s facade is predominantly facing brick with punctured windows and a black monolith entrance feature to the centre. The rear of the building has full height glass curtain walling to allow maximum light into the building, alongside coloured fibre cement board panelling to the games hall block. An aluminium standing seam roof will be slightly pitched, allowing for the installation of solar panels to meet current energy saving targets.

In addition to the construction of the main building, the site team is laying an all-weather synthetic sports pitch, as well as installing a new roundabout at the junction of Miller Road to improve vehicle access, and a pedestrian crossing to ensure pupils can cross the road safely.

Designers have used level two Building Information Modelling (BIM) practices to design the school. This has allowed the different disciplines involved in design and construction to share information leading to greater efficiencies and coordination, as well as integrated cost and project time information. The customer will receive a data populated model at the end of the project to support its facilities management of the building.

Councillor Michelle McGinty, Convener of Educational Services, said: “It’s fantastic to see work underway on this development which will deliver a first class education campus for pupils in Balloch. This project will move pupils from ageing buildings into brand new schools, purpose-built for modern day learning in which they will be supported to learn and achieve.”

Harry Thorburn, managing director of Morgan Sindall in Scotland added: “The importance of this campus to people in the local community cannot be overstated. Designing and building an environment where individual schools can come together, while retaining their distinct identities is a challenge, but one that Morgan Sindall is well equipped to deal with. “As the UK’s leading school builder, we have both the experience and expertise to deliver a multi-faceted project such as this, and we’re confident that the finished campus will be well received.”

Construction work has now commenced and is scheduled to complete in 2018. 

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