New academy plans move ahead

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ficers worked up intial options to deliver 2,400 extra school places in the area and members of the Garioch Area Committee chose a two-school option.

This means a replacement 1,600 capacity Inverurie Academy on the existing site, retaining 940-pupil Kemnay Academy and building another primary school in Kintore.

Councillors heard building a replacement Inverurie Academy does not preclude the future development of a secondary school at Kintore should it be required.

At a recent meeting in Aberdeen the committee backed the Garioch Area Committee’s preferred two-school option.

They heard as well as the replacement secondary at Inverurie and primary at Kintore, the plans include a community pool at the Inverurie campus and an all-weather pitch at Kemnay.

Requirements for pupils with additional support needs are also being carefully considered and parents will be asked for their views.

Officers have also been instructed by councillors to acquire a site for future education/community provision within Kintore to increase the council’s options.

The Council’s Director of Infrasructure Services, Stephen Archer, said: “The committee was very happy to approve the progression of a new secondary school for the Garioch area, recognising the pressure on the existing school estate.

“As things progress we will of course be consulting with the local community about their detailed requirements to ensure the best use is made of the space available.

“We have taken similar approaches with new facilities we have built in Fraserburgh, Laurencekirk, Ellon and Alford to ensure what’s delivered suits local needs.”

Director of Education and Children’s Services, Maria Walker, said: “This is the news teachers, parents and young people in the area have been waiting for – the creation of a new, state of the art academy in Inverurie will be a tremendous asset for the whole area.

“This locality has a thriving economy, is an attractive place to live and bring up children and this new facility will be an excellent learning and leisure facility to benefit the whole community.”

The committee instructed officers to provide an update on the budget implications of the chosen option at its meeting to be held on Thursday, June 11.

The report to committee, which was due to be heard in private due to some of the financial information it contained, was dealt with in public session following the Garioch Area Committee’s decision to do the same in the public interest.

Inverurie Academy dates originally from 1909, with additional buildings added to the site in the 50s and 60s,,including the Assembly Hall. The final phase of building was completed in the 1980s