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22 March 2024

Provost and pupils plant tree as new school nears completion

The construction of North Ayrshire’s newest and most eco-friendly school has reached a major milestone.

The 'Passivhaus' school will open for intake this year.

Provost Anthea Dickson and young people joined by (left to right) Michael Ross, Chief Executive, hub South West; Leader of North Ayrshire Council Marie Burns; Andy McLinden, Regional Managing Director, Robertson Construction Central West; and Cllr Tony Gurney, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Climate Change and Place. 

Montgomerie Park Primary School is set to open later this year and yesterday a ‘topping out’ ceremony took place to mark the next stage of the development.

North Ayrshire Provost Anthea Dickson was joined by young people and their families as she planted a tree to mark the occasion.

The tree signals a new beginning and is also symbolic of the intertwining of the sustainability credentials and learning environment the new school will offer.

As part of the Council’s ambitious net-zero drive, Montgomerie Park Primary will be the first ‘Passivhaus’ school in the region. 

Passivhaus Standard delivers buildings which provide a high level of comfort for occupants, while using very little energy for heating and cooling. The new school will use significantly less energy than a typical school building, resulting in lower carbon emissions, and lower energy bills.

Initial work on the new school began in March 2023 and is being built to rigorous energy efficiency standards and will comprise 12 classrooms, early learning facilities, a gymnasium incorporating flexible performance areas, and dining facilities along with outdoor learning spaces including a seven-a-side all-weather pitch.  

It will accommodate up to 342 pupils, plus an early learning and childcare facility with 32 places for three to five-year-olds, and 15 places for two-year-olds.

Provost Anthea Dickson said: “I am honoured to be taking part in this celebration and the planting of the tree is very symbolic. We all know the importance of tree planting to the environment but it also represents the start of something new.

“The children here today will be some of the first to attend Montgomerie Park Primary and will be creating many new memories. We are all very excited for them and their families.

“It is great to see the progress being made and we look forward to seeing the finished product over the coming months.”

She was joined by guests from North Ayrshire Council, development partner hub South West, main contractor Robertson Construction and a variety of stakeholders who are all looking forward to what promises to be a fantastic new learning environment.

Michael Ross, Chief Executive, hub South West, said: “It was fantastic to be involved in this celebration and welcome the young people who, alongside the local community, will benefit from this first class facility.

“We have a long track record of delivering projects for North Ayrshire Council, having delivered 19 projects totalling over £190m to date. All achieving value for money, high quality and with a strong community wealth building focus.

“From our North Ayrshire projects we have created 280 jobs, 81 apprenticeships and more widely we have recirculated over £34m of project spend to companies in North Ayrshire. My experienced team have the expertise to make this all happen and we enjoy working in partnership with North Ayrshire Council.”  

Andy McLinden, Regional Managing Director, Robertson Construction Central West, said: “Today marks a significant milestone as we focus our attention on completing the build and prepare it for its first intake of pupils.

“By building to Passivhaus standards North Ayrshire Council is making a firm commitment to both its net zero drive and the education of young learners. It’s a pleasure to host the event today and to meet some of the pupils who will be among the first to attend the school.”