Take a peek inside new Nicolson

John O'Hara (3DReid), Warren Wright (FMP), Catriona Stewart (Vice Chair, Education and Children's Service), JOan Mackinnon (Director of Education, CnES), Cllr Norman A Macdonald (Chair, Sgoiltean Ura), Cllr Alex A Macdonald (Convener, CnES), Cllr Angus Campbell (Council Leader, CnES), and Malcolm Buss (Chief Exectuive, CnES)

John O'Hara (3DReid), Warren Wright (FMP), Catriona Stewart (Vice Chair, Education and Children's Service), JOan Mackinnon (Director of Education, CnES), Cllr Norman A Macdonald (Chair, Sgoiltean Ura), Cllr Alex A Macdonald (Convener, CnES), Cllr Angus Campbell (Council Leader, CnES), and Malcolm Buss (Chief Exectuive, CnES)

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TWO major milestones have been achieved in the Western Isles Schools Project in The Nicolson Institute build and the new West Side Primary School.

At the new Nicolson Institute, a ‘tapping-out’ ceremony took place last week as the final piece of structural steelwork was erected to complete the main superstructure of the building.

With completion of the primary frame, the building footprint has been completed in its entirety and now stretches from Sandwick Road to Springfield Road and from Matheson Road to the ISL Sports Centre.

Chair of Sgoiltean Ura, Cllr Norman Macdonald, stated: “Although erection of the steel frame only started in January this year, we are very pleased at the significant progress which has been made by FMP in the delivery of the new Nicolson Institute.

“With works recently also beginning on Matheson Hall, to be undertaken by a local contractor, Neil Mackay & Co Ltd, the project remains on schedule to open for the new academic year in august 2012.”

Cllr Angus Campbell, Comhairle Leader, also noted: “The Comhairle are delighted that works on the new Nicolson Institute are proceeding in accordance with the programme and on several simultaneous fronts, including the works to Matheson Hall, the Pentland Building and the widening of Sandwick Road, and we look forward to welcoming the first pupils into the new facility next year.”

FMP also started construction of the new West Side Primary School in Barvas in early March and already a similar milestone has been achieved with the completion of the primary steel frame allowing all the follow on trades such as blockwork, drainage, ground floor slab and roof to get under way.

Malcolm Burr, Chief Executive of the Comhairle, said: “Although much smaller in scale, it is just as satisfying to see construction of the final two primary schools here at West Side and at Daliburgh on South Uist proceeding in parallel with the larger facilities at the Nicolson Institute and Sir E Scott School.

“As the largest capital programme ever undertaken by the Comhairle, we are delighted that the project remains on time and on budget to deliver a total of six educational and community facilities over the next 12 months.”

And Chair of Education and Children’s Service, Cllr Morag Munro, added: “Considering that we believed our initial programme of four new schools was ambitious, I am delighted that all six schools are on schedule for completion between this summer and next.

“It is really impressive to see the new Nicolson Institute at this stage already and that the West Side school is also taking shape. We look forward to delivering the curriculum for all age groups in facilities that are the equal to any on the mainland.”

With construction having started at Daliburgh Primary School, South Uist, in May, works are now fully under way at all six of the schools in the Western Isles Schools Project.

Bot Balivanich and Point Primary Schools remain on programme to be completed during summer 2001 with Sir E Scott School scheduled for December 2011, West Side Primary School in March 2012 and finally the Nicolson Institute and Daliburgh Primary School in summer 2012.