Work has officially commenced on two new facilities for children and young people across North Ayrshire. An Additional Support Needs (ASN) School and a Respite and Residential(R&R) facility will sit alongside each other on the grounds next to Auchenharvie Academy.
The development - a £30million Education Service and Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) project - will be the first of its kind in Scotland and will provide a unique learning and living environment for young people.
The ASN school – which will replace James McFarlane, James Reid Stanecastle and Haysholm – will provide modern, fully accessible facilities for 200 young people from ages two to 18 with a range of additional needs
The school will include sensory spaces, a swimming pool, an hydrotherapy pool and enhanced outdoor learning spaces including an outdoor rebound area and external classrooms.
It will include facilities for health and social care colleagues to access, incorporating first-aid, therapy and treatment facilities.
And the R&R facility will incorporate an eight-bedroom respite facility for young persons with additional support and health needs, along with an eight-bedroom residential facility which will provide a specialist environment for young people with severe and complex needs.
North Ayrshire Provost Ian Clarkson cut the first piece of turf at Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony.
He said: “It is a real honour and privilege to be here today celebrating what is going to be an incredible development for North Ayrshire.
“There is nowhere else in Scotland that will have resources like these sitting alongside each other. This is a huge positive and a very exciting prospect for the families using the facilities.”
Councillor John Bell, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “The ASN school is going to be much more than bricks and mortar. It’s going to provide an environment which will make a huge difference to their learning experience and their lives of the children and young people.
“Being adjacent to Auchenharvie Academy, we are sure the Campus will create exciting opportunities for joint working and learning between the school communities.
“We’re all very excited about this. The design of the school is stunning, providing lots of open spaces for the young people to learn and thrive.”
Councillor Robert Foster, Cabinet member for the Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “The R&R facility is going to be a safe, fun, modern environment that feels like home for the young people.
“Having this facility here in North Ayrshire will be such a huge thing for the families who need it. It will make such a difference to them and their children’s lives. It’s going to be such a welcoming and accommodating place for the young people and their families. We are sure they will be happy, comfortable and settled there.
“We are now really looking forward to works progressing and ultimately opening what promises to be an amazing facility.”
The Council are working in partnership with hub South West, who have appointed Morrisons Construction Scotland and Norr Architects to deliver this exciting new project.
Morrison Construction Operation’s Director, Allan Cunningham: “It is wonderful to be here today, welcoming the young people and staff who will benefit from this fantastic, modern facility.
‘‘We look forward to continuing our working partnership with North Ayrshire Council and Hub South West to successfully deliver this unique development, a major investment in the Stevenston community.
‘Since we established site in late July and it is terrific to see our experienced team progressing the groundworks for the project, with work on the foundations soon to begin. During construction, we will continue engaging with community stakeholders and provide opportunities in education and employment through our progressive social value programme.’’
Michael McBrearty, Chief Executive of development partner hub South West added;
“We are delighted that this innovative and important project has now proceeded to site a look forward to seeing these fantastic and much needed facilities take shape.
“The new ASN School and Respite and Residential facility will be a great asset to not only vulnerable young people and their families but also to the wider community.”