First Minister opens new Largs Campus
Posted on 13 Jun 2018
THE new £52m Largs Campus was formally opened by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today (Wednesday).
It was a day to remember for pupils and staff in what was a fitting celebration of North Ayrshire’s newest and largest school.
Described as the ‘perfect place for young people to learn and develop’ the Campus has potentially the BIGGEST games hall in the UK and the Council’s partnership with sportscotland, whose Inverclyde base is next door, means pupils have access to a wide range of top-class sporting facilities.
Other features include art classrooms with balconies that enable the provision for outdoor working and two stunning theatres with lighting and sound systems as good as any theatre in Scotland.
The Campus – which comprises of Largs Academy, St Mary’s Primary and Largs Primary - also has ultra-modern classrooms, with breakout spaces, across each of the three schools. There is also an Early Years Centre with state-of-the-art facilities that incorporate parent rooms, family rooms and imaginative play and learning areas for young people.
The First Minister was given a tour of each of the establishments as she discovered just why the Campus is one of the finest facilities in Scotland.
Councillor John Bell, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “The Largs Campus has been open to pupils and staff for a couple of months now, but it’s great to showcase it with a formal opening. It’s only right that we celebrate this magnificent facility.
“As a Council we are ambitious for our young people and want to give them the best possible chance to succeed. This school is the perfect place for learning and developing and we’re sure the young people, along with staff and teachers, will absolutely thrive at the Largs Campus.
“We are all very proud of the Largs Campus and sure it will serve this and future generations very well for years to come.”
The First Minister said:“I am delighted to officially open the tremendous new Largs Campus buildings. It’s clear to see that the pupils and staff are all enjoying and benefiting from their new learning environment.
“This is just the latest of the long list of schools now rebuilt or refurbished, with a hat-trick of high schools opening across Scotland today. That’s a reflection of the importance of education as this Government’s number one priority.
“What’s more, not only do these new schools provide enormous benefits for the education of our children and young people, they also help the local economy with jobs and apprenticeship opportunities during construction, and will serve the wider community now that they are open.”
The First Minister was welcomed to Largs Campus by North Ayrshire Provost Ian Clarkson, Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, Cllr Bell and North Ayrshire Council Chief Executive Elma Murray.
Pipers from the primaries and Largs Academy piped the First Minister into the Campus before she was taken to the Early Years Centre. She met Head of Centre Alicia Train, who introduced her to staff and some of the young people in the nursery, and Director of Education John Butcher and Yvonne Holland, the Council’s project lead during construction of the Campus.
During the tour of Largs and St Mary’s Primary, the FM was introduced to head teachers Julie Dorrian and Mary Hume, staff and pupils. She was also able to learn about the Confucius Hub, which has recently opened at St Mary’s.
After visiting Largs Academy, the First Minister unveiled the Campus’ new plaque and cut the celebratory cake.
Works on the Largs Campus began in August 2016 and contractors Morrison Construction finished works earlier this year. The two primaries and Early Years moved into the Campus in March before being joined by Largs Academy a month later.
Michael McBrearty, Chief Executive of development partner hub South West added:“Largs is an outstanding new campus that hub South West is delighted to be a part of.
“To be at the official opening today and see pupils utilise this fantastic facility is a real testament to the hard work and innovation that all parties brought to the process of delivering the new campus.
Largs Campus will provide excellent facilities for the wider community and transform education in the seaside town.
“The setting is spectacular and the opportunities for sport and outdoor learning in the neighbouring facilities are absolutely first-class.”
Morrison Construction and Operation’s Director Allan Cunningham,‘‘It was wonderful to see the First Minister tour this fantastic campus and meet pupils and teachers who have been enjoying the state-of-the-art educational, arts and sporting facilities.
‘‘In August last year the First Minister also opened the nearby £12 sportscotland National Sports Training Centre Inverclyde, another Morrison Construction project that demonstrates our strong legacy in the Largs community.
“We are proud to have delivered this project that will provide a lasting benefit to the community and which positively impacted on the local economy by supporting 25 work placements, 13 apprentices and creating 73 new jobs during construction.’’