Preparation site work for the new eagerly awaited £35.4m Inverness Royal Academy campus has begun.
The new school, which is sited next to the existing Inverness Royal Academy on Culduthel Road, will be completed in June 2016 and open for pupils in August 2016.
The new school will have capacity for 1,460 pupils making it significantly larger than the current school which has a role of 1,153. This is to accommodate the housing growth within the catchment area and the increased uptake in Gaelic Medium education in the medium to long term.
It will feature 39 practical, 40 non-practical and 5 tutorial classrooms, and a further 6 classrooms will be provided to accommodate a range of subjects taught in the Gaelic language. Community facilities will include 2 all-weather pitches, an indoor games halls, fitness suite, dance studio and gymnasium.
The Additional Support Needs accommodation will be more than doubled in size to improve the educational experience for pupils, providing a calm and positive learning environment as well as full access to the rest of the school.
Chairman of The Highland Council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee, Councillor Alasdair Christie said: “The Inverness Royal Academy campus is a flagship project for the city of Inverness for as well as providing a modern learning environment that will meet the needs of current and future pupils for many years to come, it will include a full range of community leisure facilities making it an important and integrated focal point within the local area. I’m delighted, as I’m sure all the staff and pupils are too, that work on this exciting development has begun. “
The project is part of the 3rd phase of Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme which is partially funded by the Scottish Government and the Council.
Angus Macfarlane, chief executive of hub North Scotland, said: “As an organisation, we are absolutely delighted that preparation work on the new Inverness Royal Academy campus has commenced and we believe it heralds a significant milestone not just for the staff and pupils, but also for the city itself and the communities it will serve.
“Our role is to drive community-based infrastructure projects and the new Inverness Royal Academy is a significant part of the pipeline hub North Scotland is delivering in the years ahead. We look forward to working with Miller Construction, Highland Council and the other stakeholders to deliver a first class facility that pupils and parents can be proud of.”