Green Light For Two New Wick Primary Schools
The Highland Council has been given the go ahead to proceed with plans to replace the four primary schools in Wick with two new purpose built schools serving the North and South of the town.
Scottish Education Cabinet Secretary, Michael Russell, who called in the Council's proposals, has confirmed he is content for the Council to amalgamate Hillhead and North Primary Schools in a new school building on land available within North Primary School and to join the South and Pulteneytown Academy Primary Schools in a new school to be built on the site of the existing High School playing field site and the site of Pultneytown Academy PS.
The school to the North is estimated to cost £10.5 million and cater for approximately 390 pupils. The new school serving the south of the town would cater for 340 pupils at an estimated cost of £9.225 million. The Council hopes to progress the new primary school plans at the same time as building a new community High School for Wick - on the existing site of the secondary school - at a total estimated cost of more than £50 million.
Hugh Fraser, Director of Education Culture and Sport, The Highland Council, contacted local stakeholders of the good news.
He said: "I am very pleased to advise you that we have been informed that the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning has agreed that the projects to replace the current Wick primary schools with two new primaries can proceed. There will be a condition regarding traffic safety but we would expect this to be overtaken in the Traffic Impact Assessment which is part of the next stage in any school replacement project."
Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of the ECS Committee who is a Ward Member for Wick, said: "This is is a very positive outcome and I am very pleased that we are now able to progress these projects and hopefully have them opened by 2015. When completed these projects mean that Wick will have one of the best provisions for educational facilities in the Highlands and they will go a long way to promote regeneration.
"When combined with the new Wick High school and new community facilities such as the swimming pool and library we will have created one of the best learning and recreational environments in Scotland."
Councillor Gail Ross, Wick, said: "This is great news for Wick not just for parents and children in the area but for the wider community as well. We have to make sure now that the builds are kept within budget and delivered on time."
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