North Uist Primary School
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Bringing together an island community
The 100 pupil school co-locates pupils from three existing schools on the island and includes a nursery, multi-use games area, synthetic grass pitch and car parking.
The project was procured through the Scape 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.
Engaging an island community
Aware of the sensitivities involved in merging schools, Western Isles Council set us an objective of creating enthusiasm for the project in every community affected to generate buy-in to the process. Due to their remoteness, island communities are very close knit, so managing local sensitivities throughout was vital if the project was to be successful. Our local, Gaelic-speaking site team undertook unprecedented levels of community engagement, integrating fully into the community in a way that no mainland staff could have done.
Efficiency, communication and cooperation have been the hallmarks of the school's experience of working with Robertson Construction. Children have been engaged and enthused in a variety of creative ways and site visits for staff and pupils have been managed with maximum involvement. As Head Teacher I can say that working with Robertson's staff has been a positive and anxiety free experience for me and for all involved in the life of the school. This has been a job well done!
The school opened in August 2016 with final completion of the project in January 2017 following the demolition of the old school.
As well as engaging with the school students and staff and providing a range of work experience and apprenticeship opportunities, the site team also achieved a Silver Award from the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
Over 71% of the labour force live within 20 miles of the site, securing vital jobs for the local island community. The project team also supported a local contractor to diversify his business into providing skip hire and waste management services to the project and beyond. The newly established business now employs two full-time staff, providing further vital job opportunities for local people.