New facilities opened at Kirkliston Primary School

The new gym, dining hall and 3G sports pitch at Kirkliston Primary School have been officially opened by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh today.

Cllr Donald Wilson was the special guest of honour at the event to mark the first phase of the £5.25m extension to the school being built by Hadden Construction.

The first phase resulted in a new wing being created at the rear of the school providing the new gym and dining halls and related changing facilities. It also saw the completion of the new 3G sports pitch, increased parking and the subdivision of the school’s old hall to provide two additional teaching spaces.

Work is already well underway on building five new classrooms which will be ready for use by August 2016. The final phase will be a further three classrooms which will follow next year.

The gym and separate dining hall can be used together as a big hall for major school or community events.

The development also saw two care leavers start an apprenticeship with both of them now gaining full time employment with companies involved in the project. Youthbuild is a construction training project run by Action for Children specifically designed and tailored for young people who are already in touch with services such as social work, criminal justice or a formal care setting.

Acting Head Teacher, Irene Whitford, said: “The new hall has been a fabulous asset to the school as we can have two classes having gym at the same time and when the hall is opened up to one big hall it is a fantastic space which now accommodates all the children and parents too.

“The children were so excited by the 3G pitch which again can take two classes using it at once. The children can use it at break time and lunch for their own games and the After School Club is able to use it too. It’s a great space and can be used in all weathers. It’s fantastic to see it being used and I love showing it off to new families moving into the village.

“As the school continues to grow we are looking forward to the eight new classrooms, five of which will be ready for the children in August. We have already chosen the colour schemes and furniture and it will great to have these classrooms as part of the main building.”

The Lord Provost Donald Wilson said: “This is a fantastic new space for the whole Kirkliston community. It is so important that we work in partnership with developers and builders to invest in our communities and our people and this project is a great example of the benefits of this approach.

“The new gym and 3G sports pitch will be put into immediate use when the school hosts its own Kirkliston Olympics next week. I wish all of those taking part the best of luck.”

Cllr Paul Godzik, Education Convener, said: “With the increased housing in the Kirkliston area these extensions are vital to cope with the extra demand for places at the primary school.

“Rising rolls is a huge issue for the city and in addition to Kirkliston we have a further nine new classes currently being built at three other primary schools for August 2016, and have already identified eight schools which may need additional accommodation in future years.”

James Cantley, Operational Director for Children’s Services at Action for Children, said: “It’s fantastic to see two young men move into employment after being involved in our Youthbuild programme.

“Youthbuild provides the young people taking part a combination of training, support and a work placement which involves them learning new skills but more importantly experience in a work environment.

“Most of the young people who participated in the programme had no previous experience of paid work and many come from difficult backgrounds and face multiple challenges in finding work. We believe that getting them into work is vitally important in helping them to move forward with their lives, and to fulfil their potential.”