The new Queensferry High School project reached an important milestone as Financial Close was achieved on Thursday 14 June.
Financial Close occurs when all the project and financing agreements have been signed and all the required conditions contained in them have been met. Although advance works began on site last month, it means that the main construction works can now begin, and the school is due to be completed by Spring 2020.
The £40m school, is being delivered by Hub South East in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, with Morrison Construction appointed as main contractor.
Plans, approved by Council in January, include a new school, incorporating a sports hall and new 6 lane swimming pool (increased in size from 4 lanes after taking into account community feedback). Externally there will be a new full sized 3G pitch for football within the site and access to a full sized 3G pitch for rugby and football off site (not linked with the application), as well as running track, long jump, shot put provision, rounders pitch and three hard play spaces marked out for basketball/netball.
The new school will be built on the current school’s playing fields and, following completion, the old school will be demolished, with the area landscaped and a new pitch created on the site.
Roddy Clark, Hub South East’s Projects Director, said:
“A great deal of work has gone into the development and design of this project in the background, so reaching Financial Close is a significant milestone in making the new Queensferry High School a reality.
“We’re particularly proud that through this project, Hub South East is leading the way in realising progressive government policy aspirations in relation to low carbon, as the new school is receiving funds through the Scottish Futures Trust to ensure a low carbon design. Ultimately this will not only satisfy increasing environmental targets but should have a beneficial effect on the learning environment and educational attainment as well as life cycle costs of the building.
“This is just one of the ways we’re working with clients to demonstrate innovation and ensure we are bringing added value to the projects we deliver.”
Cllr Ian Perry, Education Convener of the City of Edinburgh Council, added:
“With initial work having started on site last month, Financial Close means the main construction can begin on the new building which will provide a state of the art school for our young people and great community facilities.
“We have successfully worked with Hub South East Scotland before over the past seven years and are delighted to be working with the Scottish Government on this important project.”
Eddie Robertson, Morrison Construction Managing Director Central Building said:
‘‘This is a significant milestone for this fantastic project. We have a proud history of delivering state-of-the-art education facilities and we look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners Hub South East and the City of Edinburgh Council.
‘‘During construction we will continue our engagement with all stakeholders while providing education and employment opportunities to ensure the development has a lasting positive impact.’’
Gemma Boggs, education delivery director at the Scottish Futures Trust, added:
“Our management of the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme is helping all of Scotland’s 32 councils succeed in delivering the very best teaching and learning environments within ever-tightening budgets.
“As well as supporting many thousands of construction jobs, the programme is creating and delivering world-class, award-winning learning environments that not only meet future educational needs but are vibrant community assets as well.
“I am delighted to see Queensferry High School enter construction which is embracing lower carbon technologies to help towards other Scottish Government policy objectives and is an innovative example of delivering against one of the key programme principles of building schools which are greener, more sustainable and environmentally efficient.”