Island learning

Tuesday 09 Feb 2010

3DReid receives planning for £60m schools project on Scottish islands

3DReid has secured planning permission and listed building consents for the £60 million Western Isles Schools Project (WISP), the first Hybrid PPP procurement project in Scotland. The client, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), is the local authority which covers the islands known as the Western Isles or the Outer Hebrides. The islands have witnessed a decline in the population of 10% in recent years. This has had an impact on the school population which has resulted in an imbalance between school provision and present and projected pupil numbers which has justified the consolidation of educational provision.

The project will see the development of 5 schools over 5 sites. The Nicholson Institute, a new high school for 1,100 pupils, will be built in Stornoway, Lewis. The new West Side Primary School will accommodate 100 pupils and 23 nursery pupils in Barvas, Lewis. Lewis will also receive a new Primary School for 175 pupils and a nursery for 60 pupils in Point. On the island of Harris the existing high school will be refurbished, remodelled and extended and a new primary school for 75 pupils and a nursery for 20 pupils will be constructed. Balivanich Primary School on the island of Benbecula will be built on a green field site and will replace the nearby Primary School which was severely damaged during storms in January 2005.

This is the first Hybrid PPP procurement project in Scotland, which aims to provide all the best aspects of PPP without the perceived drawbacks with funding in the form of a government grant rather than through a private investor. The contract, in essence, is a standard Design & Build project, tendered at Stage D but with the added requirement for FM and building lifecycle expertise.

Alex Donaldson, Partnerships Director at 3DReid said: “We are delighted to have moved forwards with this exciting and challenging project. Our key aspiration for these community focused schools is to create innovative, sustainable and environmental design solutions and we look forward to working closely with the rest of the team and the local community to achieve this.”

Start on site is expected in July 2010 with completion by July 2012.

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