Topping out ceremony held at Dumbarton Academy

6 May 2013 13:32 - BAM Construct UK Ltd

(Press release West Dunbartonshire Council:) Dumbarton, 22 April 2013 - A topping out ceremony has been held to mark the completion of the exterior of the new £15.5 million Dumbarton Academy building. The final concrete plinth was laid on the roof of the school by Councillor Michelle Stewart, Convener of Education, Councillor David McBride, Convener of Housing, Environmental and Economic Development, Grant Robertson from the Scottish Futures Trust and Douglas Keillor, Regional Director from BAM Construction.

Work on the school has progressed well despite the difficult winter conditions and BAM Construction is still on target to meet the planned opening in mid-August 2013. Attention will now turn to finishing off the internal features such as the bright classrooms designed to meet every requirement of modern teaching. The state-of-the-art school will cater for up to 700 pupils and also offer a dramatic theatre and modern library.

BAM Construction has used precast concrete to build the school instead of steel and brick. As well as increasing the quality of the structure this has also saved time and enabled the school to be built in just 60 weeks - two and half months quicker than normal.

Once complete the site will also include a 'Walk of Life' timeline of the school's history etched into the path leading to the entrance; a fitness trail around the playground featuring outdoor gym equipment; a music garden outdoor performance area with seating for 30-40 people, and a school garden offering outdoor dining areas. There will also be two flood-lit all-weather pitches, a grass pitch and a 100m running track.

Councillor Stewart said: ‘It was great to be able to take part in the topping out ceremony and see first-hand the amazing progress that has been made at the new Academy building. Parents, children and school staff have been waiting a long time to get better facilities and so it is very exciting to be so close to actually opening the doors and seeing them make the most of this fantastic building.’

Headteacher Jacqui Lynam said: ‘This was another exciting milestone for the school ahead of our move later this year. We have a great future to look forward to with fantastic new surroundings to help our teachers bring the very best out of our pupils. We are thrilled and can't wait for the internal work to be completed too.’

Douglas Keillor, Regional Director of BAM Construction, said: ‘This topping out ceremony marks a significant stage in the construction of the new Dumbarton Academy. Despite extremely challenging weather conditions over the winter BAM are still on programme to deliver another quality education building for the benefit of pupils, staff and the local community within West Dunbartonshire Council.’

The Scottish Futures Trust manages the £1.25 billion Scotland's Schools for the Future programme on behalf of the Scottish Government, and is committing more than £10 million towards the Dumbarton Academy project. The balance is coming from West Dunbartonshire Council.

Grant Robertson from the Scottish Futures Trust, added: ‘When it opens in just a few months time, Dumbarton Academy will be a modern, state-of-the-art school, built to provide pupils and teachers alike with a teaching environment suitable for today's modern curriculum.’

Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages, said: ‘Today underlines the great progress that has been made in the construction of the new Dumbarton Academy. I am certain it will be a school which pupils, teachers, parents and the local community can be rightly proud when it is officially open later this year. The Scottish Government is providing over £10 million in funding towards the cost of this new school, through its Schools for the Future Programme, which will provide modern, state of the art facilities fit for delivering Curriculum for Excellence.’