Apr 1 2011 by Lisa Boyle, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
WORK on a new £10 million primary school in Patna is set to get underway next month.
Construction on the campus, which will bring together St Xavier’s and Patna primary, starts on April 18.
The school is expected to be completed in time for the new school term beginning in August 2012.
The £10 million project has been in the pipeline since it was approved by East Ayrshire Council in July 2009.
The adjacent community centre and library will also have a refurbishment as part of the project.
The original budget was set at £9 million. But the £1 million shortfall will be met from similar school projects in East Ayrshire which have come in under budget.
Council chiefs have also found other ways to keep costs at a minimum.
In a report to councillors, director of finance Alex McPhee said: “Since April 2010, the design of the new school has been continually reviewed and value-engineered to reduce costs wherever possible.in an attempt to meet the capital allocation of £9 million.
“This has included the incorporation of simplified construction details, the reduced specification of interior finishes, the removal of a sprinkler system attenuation tank, rationalisation of mechanical and electrical services, and the deletion of an all-weather external sports pitch.”
“The only real way to reduce the cost by £1 million would be to reduce the size of the school by over 10 per cent which would not provide enough space for the required educational provision.
“The new campus represents a major, high profile commitment by the council as part of the Better School: Better Learning proposals.”
The plan to put St Xavier’s pupils in to Patna primary proved to be a controversial one when it was first suggested to parents.
St Xavier’s parents feared that the move would breed bigotry-fuelled violence.
But when it was revealed that all the pupils would move into a brand new state of the art building, parents from both schools were appeased.
Although the schools will be on the same campus, they will retain their own identities.