An opening ceremony has been held in North Uist for a new £8.8m school built by Robertson, one of the UK’s leading infrastructure groups.
Sgoil Uibhist a’ Tuath is the seventh new school to open in the Western Isles in the last six years. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the local authority, invested £6.6m into the school with additional funding of £2.2m coming from the Scottish Government.
Construction was led by main contractors Robertson on behalf of Willmott Dixon and was completed on time and within budget. The work was procured through Scape Group’s National Major Works framework. Scape Group is a public sector owned built environment specialist offering a full suite of national frameworks and innovative design solutions.
Reid Gilmour, Operations Manager, Robertson Central said:
“It has been a pleasure working in partnership with Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar to deliver this new school through Scape Group’s National Major Works framework.
“It has been a logistically challenging but incredibly rewarding project that has been achieved with the help of the local community. Project Manager Finlay MacInnes and I have enjoyed our time here and I would like to thank everyone for their support.”
The opening of the school was led by Rev. and Mrs John Smith and included performances by the school choir. Pupils and teachers – who have been in the school since August 2016 – also took part in the celebrations.
Comhairle Convener, Cllr Norman A MacDonald, said:
“I am delighted that we have officially marked the opening of the new school. Staff and children are already benefitting from this excellent education facility which provides childcare, early years and primary education to the North Uist community in partnership with Saoghal Beag Nursery.
“There have been several improvements to our schools in the Western Isles over the last few years, and here today we see the opening of the seventh new school in the past six years. Our new schools will usher in a new era of educational opportunity and community facilities, in buildings that are the equal of any in Scotland.”
Mark Robinson, Scape Group’s Chief Executive, said:
“At Scape Group we are very excited to be helping to deliver a fantastic new school to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, in a move which will provide an excellent future for the island’s young people, as well as help to evolve the education system in the Western Isles.
“Working collaboratively through our National Major Works framework, Robertson and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have proved that investment in high quality school buildings is not reserved for big cities, and that it is possible to deliver great design in every community, including the Western Isles.”
The school is also providing a resource for community activities.