There have been plenty of fears expressed about the shortage of teachers in Aberdeen.
But education chiefs in the city have hailed the beginning of work on a £47million academy as a boost for youngsters.
Aberdeen City Council’s children’s convener, Angela Taylor, was joined at the site on Bobby Calder Park yesterday by primary five pupils, who will attend the school when it opens its doors in August, 2018.
And, after she cut the first sod, construction on the state-of-the-art development got under way.
The four-storey building will contain facilities for up to 1,350 pupils from Torry, Kincorth, Cove and Nigg with a special focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics – the STEM subjects.
There will also be a dance studio, a fitness suite, a games hall, a six-lane swimming pool and environmental gardens as well as grass and 3G pitches.
After watching the project commence, Cllr Taylor argued the development would boost education for youngsters in the south of the city.
She said: “The building of a new £47million south of the city academy shows this council’s commitment to deliver the best possible educational and community environment for residents in Torry, Kincorth, Nigg and Cove.
“Education in Aberdeen is about raising aspiration and inspiring ambition without barriers, and by investing in our school estate and, by improving resources, we will enable children to open their minds to greater possibilities.”
The youngsters who joined her for the ceremony were upbeat about the prospect of going to the school once the construction is complete.
Jodi Murchie from Tullos Primary, said: “I’m looking forward to coming here, there will be good teachers and lots of grass areas for sports.”
Reece Davidson, from Walker Road, added: “It will be amazing, I’m looking forward to studying maths at the school.”
Director of education and children’s services Gayle Gorman was also on hand to watch work get under way.
She said: “This is an exciting opportunity to provide a state-of-the-art academy for our children in the south of the city.
“This new school will provide the ideal educational, social and inclusive environment to enable all our children to reach their full potential.”