Proposals for a replacement primary school in a north-east community have moved forwards after councillors backed the £12million scheme.
Aberdeenshire’s policy and resources committee met yesterday to discuss the plan for the Kinellar Primary School in Blackburn, which will accommodate 450 primary and 40 nursery pupils.
The plans will see the existing building demolished and replaced with a completely new facility.
During the construction process, pupils will be bused to the new Midmill Primary School in Kintore for classes.
The new campus will include a games area and a sensory room for pupils with additional support needs. The site will also boast a community playground and car parking.
Now that the policy committee has agreed the scheme, a formal planning application will be lodged.
Committee chairman Martin Kitts-Hayes said: “The new primary school in Kinellar is part of the council’s drive to make sure every school community in Aberdeenshire can benefit from modern and exciting facilities fit for the 21st century.
Fellow council co-leader Richard Thomson, vice-chairman of the committee, described the decision as another “key milestone” in the council’s effort to improve the school estate in Aberdeenshire.
He added: “I’m sure local residents are looking forward to seeing work starting on the new school as soon as possible.”
And local councillor Fergus Hood echoed that sentiment in saying: “The school has been over capacity for a number of years, so I’m pleased the school is coming forward.
“I want to reassure parents that travel arrangements to Midmill school will be looked at properly. The little ones need to be looked after both ways.”
A number of other flagship education projects were also approved.
As well as backing the replacement Kinellar Primary, councillors agreed the council should begin work on a £1.3m nursery extension at Aboyne Primary School. Construction will start this summer and is due to be finished in early 2017.
A similar £1.9million extension to Bervie School was also backed, and Kemnay Academy is now in line for a new all-weather pitch.
The full-size 3G surface will allow pupils to play sports that are currently unavailable, including hockey, all year round. The pitch will also be available to the local community.