Pupils cut first sod at £15m academy
YOUNGSTERS swapped their calculators for spades to join their head teacher at the official sod-cutting ceremony marking the beginning of work on £15.5million state-of-the-art Dumbarton Academy.
Fourth-year pupils Katie Sutter, Cameron Raeside and headteacher Jacqui Lynam got down to earth with Councillor Patrick McGlinchey, in digging out the first sod last week.
Once finished, the campus will provide 21st century surroundings for up to 700 pupils, with classrooms designed to meet the requirements of modern teaching as well as a dramatic theatre and modern library.
The flagship school will also feature a new indoor games hall, two indoor gyms, a dining hall and two all-weather football pitches and running track.
Terry Lanagan. West Dunbartonshire Council's Executive Director of Educational Services, said: "This is a very exciting time for pupils, parents and staff. The prospect of moving into a new, purpose-built facility in just 14 months' time has lifted the spirits of everyone associated with the school.
"The attractive, modern, environmentally-friendly design has been warmly received by everyone who has seen it. Having worked with the builders on three previous secondary school projects, I know that they will deliver a first -class building and campus."
The first building phase, lasting up to August 2013, will involve constructing the new school facility, a flood-lit all-weather pitch to the rear, a surrounding playground, and service road.
Headteacher Jacqui Lynam, who joined the school earlier this year, added: "It's a great opportunity for the whole community to have this new building and I think it will be enhance the youngsters' learning experience even more.
"We had our primary seven youngsters in for an induction this week and I was telling them how lucky they are as they will be going into S2 when we move to the new building.
"Cutting the sod at the construction site was a really powerful moment for all the staff and pupils at Dumbarton Academy. This school has a very exciting future to look forward to with fantastic new surroundings to help our teachers bring the very best out of our pupils.
"We are thrilled and can't wait to get into the new buildings in 2013."
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