UK architecture practice Keppie has been selected to design OrkneyIslands Council’s Schools Investment Programme. The investment of over £50m will be funded with support from the Scottish Government and the Scottish Futures Trust.
Working alongside Morrison Construction, Keppie will deliver designs for a new grammar school, arts theatre and halls of residence in Kirkwall, a new primary school in Stromness, a leisure pool and squash courts at the Pickaquoy Centre and new all weather sports pitches in Stromness and Kirwall. Currently at concept design stage, full planning consent is required before the contract is signed in February 2011, with work expected to start on all of the projects shortly afterwards.
As part of a competitive tender process, Keppie responded to a brief requiring a considered, value-for-money solution to cater for over 1000 pupils across the grammar and primary schools. External landscape, weather conditions and modern day teaching methods were all considered throughout the design process.
Jonathan Jones, Divisional Director at Keppie in Perth said: “Securing the Orkney schools project is fantastic news after what was a rigorous procurement process. We spent a considerable amount of time on Orkney to gauge opinions of the key stakeholders ensuring we fully understood the aspirations of the local community who would be making use of the new facilities.
"We presented closely considered designs from a multi-disciplinary team across our Perth, Inverness, Belfast and Glasgow offices and we very much look forward to seeing them take shape.” Public meetings will be held over the coming weeks to display and discuss the designs.