Emeli Sande officially opens Alford Community Campus

Nov 25, 2015

Alford Community Campus was officially opened (Wednesday, November 25) with special guest and ex-pupil Emeli Sande who gave a performance of ‘Read All About It’ then welcomed the school choir to accompany her to sing ‘Next To Me’.

The opening took place in front of an audience of pupils and councillors and representatives at a special ceremony and Emeli unveiled a plaque alongside Aberdeenshire Provost Hamish Vernal.

School pupils performed ‘Music Through the Decades’ then ex pupil and award winning singer Emeli Sande took to the stage to give a performance she said she hoped would inspire pupils.

The singer also said it was an honour for her to be welcomed back to the school and said she thought the new facilities were amazing and would really encourage creativity.

Emeli also donated a baby grand piano to the school and Alford Academy Head Teacher Moira Milne thanked Emeli and said the school was touched with the ‘perfect’ special gift and that Christmas really had come early to Alford.

Alford Community Campus opened to the public in October and so far over 3,000 residents have used the facilities, including the library, theatre, dance studio, sports halls, gym, community rooms and swimming pool.

Nursery, primary and secondary pupils have enjoyed using the new modern classrooms, learning zones and multi-purpose rooms.

The ceremony recognised the work of all those involved in the planning and building of the campus as well as the contributions to the facility made by artist Lynne Strachan.

The £37million campus project caters for all pupils in early years, primary and secondary education.

Aberdeenshire Provost Hamish Vernal said: “This is the latest campus to be unveiled in Aberdeenshire and brings education, leisure and cultural facilities together for the whole community and visitors to enjoy.

“I have been impressed by the standard of these facilities in Alford and thank everyone involved in the project from development to delivery.”

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee Councillor Alison Evison said: “The preview day was very successful and lots of people have visited the new campus to take part in activities on offer.

“From pupils in their new classrooms, to swimmers in the pool, visitors to the gym and learners in the library, so many people are already benefitting from these new facilities.

“The investment in the school estate is part of the council’s commitment to improving the education, learning and leisure estate.”

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance said: “I’m pleased to hear that since opening last month, the new Alford Community Campus has already seen a steady flow of visitors to see this fantastic new campus and I congratulate everyone involved in this successful project.

“I’m pleased the Scottish Government could support Aberdeenshire Council’s improvement of its school estate by providing more than £15million towards this project. The new school is a fantastic, modern environment for children to learn in and the additional leisure facilities will deliver many benefits to the community of Alford and the surrounding area.”

Schools programme director at Scottish Futures Trust Gemma Boggs stated: “Protecting local jobs. Creating better schools. Achieving value for money. These are just a few of the benefits being delivered through the SFT-managed Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme.

“With a great number of facilities at Alford Community Campus available for use by the local community, we are encouraged to see many more councils across Scotland using this format and incorporating a variety of community uses into the overall school design, very much embedding modern schools with first-class facilities into the very heart of their communities.”

The cutting-edge facility, built as part of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Capital Plan replaces the former Alford Academy and Alford Primary School as well as leisure facilities in the area.

The project has been part-funded through the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme, managed by the Scottish Futures Trust, with the majority of funding being provided by Aberdeenshire Council.

The work on the new facilities was undertaken by Morrison Construction and delivered by Aberdeenshire Council in partnership with Hub North Scotland.