Work to build a £12million primary school in a north-east town has finally started after a long consultation process with locals.
Morrison Construction began construction yesterday on a replacement Markethill Primary School in Turriff.
Concerns had been raised about the existing facility last year, when councillors were forced to cap the school roll to prevent overcrowding problems from spiralling out of control.
It followed a consultation with parents from the school to suspend education at the facility, which has a capacity of 360 and a roll of 469, from July 2017.
At the time, Alison Evison, chairwoman of the local authority’s education committee, said the new school would increase and improve on the existing facilities in the town, and was a “key part” of the council’s capital plan.
Rob Merson, chairman of the local area committee, has already welcomed the work.
The new school will be located at Meadowbank Road with space for future expansion as well as a larger nursery facility.
It will have 18 classrooms, a library, a gym with courts and changing rooms, a dining hall and additional needs facilities.
Mike Bruce, the regional director of Morrison Construction, said the firm was delighted to have won the contract.
He added: “Many of our staff have a strong personal interest in the project having grown up in the area.
“In fact, George Morrison, who heads up the team, has lived in Turriff for 43 years and three generations of his family have been educated at the existing school.”
It had been feared that plans to rebuild the school would have to be dropped when a land dispute opened up about the site of the building at Meadowbank Road.
The land had been bequeathed to the British Heart Foundation which wanted “market value” for the plot. But a compulsory purchase order was later served.