A “milestone” steel beam was anchored into place yesterday as work continues on the new £55million Inverurie Community Campus.
Education Secretary John Swinney was joined by council bosses as he signed the important piece of metal work to mark the topping out of the schools project.
The school and associated community facilities has received a £25.6million grant from the Scottish Government as part of its Schools for the Future programme.
The new building is being built alongside the existing Inverurie Academy, and Mr Swinney met staff and pupils who are looking forward to its completion in 2020.
Mr Swinney, who is also deputy first minister, said: “I was pleased to attend the topping out ceremony for Inverurie Community Campus, this project will result in a fantastic new campus that the whole community can be proud of.
“Learning and teaching in such an innovative and inspirational setting can make a real difference to education outcomes.
“The Scottish Government is committed to improving Scotland’s school estate and we are providing almost £25.6million towards this project through our £1.8billion Schools for the Future building programme.”
The project is one of the biggest school construction projects in Scotland.
Once complete, it will be home to Inverurie Academy and St Andrew’s School, and extensive community sports and leisure facilities such as a six-lane swimming pool, as well as a multi-use games area, two all-weather pitches and an amphitheatre area are all included in the plans.
Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson led the ceremony and said: “I was delighted to welcome Deputy First Minister John Swinney to this modern facility and it was a pleasure to show him how Aberdeenshire Council is investing in the best possible buildings. Our aim is to provide community spaces and to help our children and young people have the brightest possible future.
“This will improve opportunities for everyone, and it is a demonstration of Aberdeenshire Council’s commitment to investing in Inverurie; maintaining what makes this a great place to live and work through the construction of modern multi-purpose spaces.”
Derek Shewan, chief executive of construction firm Robertson’s, which is carrying out the works, said the prolonged spell of good weather had helped boost the progress of the project.
He said: “This topping out ceremony marks an important milestone in the delivery of the new Inverurie Community Campus, which will provide state of the art facilities for students and the wider community.
“We are still on track for a spring 2020 completion.”