East Garioch councillor Martin Ford has welcomed the commencement of works to build the new Kintore Midmill Primary School.
The new school is urgently needed because of overcrowding in the existing Kintore primary school, but as was previously reported in the Herald, construction had been delayed due to difficulties in Aberdeenshire Council acquiring the site.
Councillor Martin Ford said: “Aberdeenshire Council finally got possession of the site for the new school on Thursday, July 30. So, at last, construction work can start.
“The delay to getting the school built has been disappointing and deeply frustrating. Given the formal objections to the compulsory purchase, due process had to be followed – meaning the Council got ownership of the site much later than it had wanted.
“However, the land ownership hurdle has now been cleared. The building contractors, Morrison’s, were due to begin work yesterday and I understand a start has been made on site, marking out the ground.
“I’m delighted that construction of the new school is getting underway.”
The need for a new school became evident after population growth in Kintore resulted in the existing primary school struggling to cope with the increasing numbers of pupils.
The new school building is due to be completed in autumn 2016 with space for around 540 pupils. Kintore’s existing primary school opened in 2006 has been operating well over capacity for a number of years with more than 622 pupils in a capacity of 415. Aberdeenshire Council have predicted that without a new school, the roll for the existing primary would reach 688 by 2017. The combined roll of the two schools in Kintore will be 955, which Aberdeenshire Council say is “sufficient for the foreseeable future.”
A study commissioned by the Council in 2012 highlighted that the school rolls for both Kintore Primary and Kinellar Primary were expected to “rise significantly up to 2016” and that the roll in Kintore “will continue to rise for several years beyond 2016”.