The first shovel hit the ground at Dalneigh Primary School yesterday as contractors began work on a new building to house a commercial kitchen and dining hall.
Pupils, teachers and contractors gathered to mark the occasion as a turf cutting ceremony took place much to the delight of the gathered pupils of the Inverness school.
Head teacher Rhona MacCormick said: “We are delighted that it is finally starting and it is going to make a huge difference at lunchtime because food will be cooked fresh on the premises. Currently, with the number of children taking school lunches we have three sittings and that will slim down to two sittings which will make a huge difference.
“It is going to free up hall space for us. At present we lose around two hours a day because the hall is in use for lunches so to be able to have lunchtime clubs, it’s going to be great.
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“It’s exciting and we are so looking forward to June when hopefully it is all complete. It’s going to be great watching it all take shape over the next few months.”
Work is expected to last for six months with contractors Morgan Sindall entrusted with bringing the project full circle.
Also in attendance was Councillor Alex Graham, who said: “I think it’s really good because this is a long established school serving the Dalneigh estate and it is really good to see the school get the benefit of upgrade and modernisation.
“It is going to be a real step forward to have a separate kitchen and dining facilities that will really benefit the pupils both nutritionally and educationally.
“Having new facilities will then release the existing space to be used more of the time for gym and also for other activities such as lunchtime clubs.
“There’s a real programme of renovation and upgrading happening in places like Inverness High School, Merkinch Primary and Charleston and this is one part of that here at Dalneigh and I am absolutely delighted to see this happening as both a councillor and a local resident.”