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Morgan Sindall begins work on two Edinburgh schools

26 Oct 20 Morgan Sindall has begun the main construction work for two Edinburgh schools with a combined value of £26m.

Canaan Lane will be built in the Morningside area
Canaan Lane will be built in the Morningside area

The new integrated primary and early-years schools for Edinburgh Council will eventually support up to 1,000 pupils. The local authority tendered the projects through the highest value lot of its £223m Contractor Works framework, which Morgan Sindall Construction has held a place on since it was launched in 2016.

The new schools will be on Canaan Lane, in the Morningside area, to the south of the city centre, and on Windrush Drive in Leith. Enabling works for both projects took place earlier this year and both schools are scheduled to complete in 2021.

Plans for the site on Canaan Lane involve the demolition of the former Oaklands Care Home. In its place, a new two-storey building will house a total of 12 classrooms, two of which will be nursery playrooms. In total, the 3,365m2 development will have capacity for 462 primary pupils and 80 early-years spaces.

It is located in a conservation area and so the design and choice of materials have been chosen to blend with the existing sandstone in the surrounding buildings.

In keeping with the council’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030, the building features air source heat pumps.

 A new home will be built for Victoria Primary; the city’s oldest school
A new home will be built for Victoria Primary; the city’s oldest school

The other project will provide a new home for Victoria Primary; the city’s oldest school, which has been in operation since 1844.

Staff and pupils will relocate from the existing site on Newhaven Main Street once the project is complete.

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The new Victoria Primary school has the capacity to educate 462 primary and 80 early-years pupils. There will be 14 classrooms split across a two-storey 4,075m2 building, with an additional single-storey nursery wing built on the east side.

The design features external zinc cladding and brickwork to complement the surrounding buildings.

Stuart Parker, Morgan Sindall Construction’s managing director in Scotland, said: “With population growth in Edinburgh showing no signs of slowing down, it’s important for planning departments and house builders to work collaboratively to guarantee sufficient capacity for children’s education.

“We’re very pleased to be working with the council on these latest two integrated primary and early-years projects. They’re both great examples of building modern learning environments in urban areas; maximising the existing space to provide sustainable, future-proof and expandable schools which are easily accessible to local residents.”

Councillor Ian Perry, Education Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I’m delighted that work is progressing on these two new schools following lockdown as they will result in fantastic new buildings and greatly benefit their local communities.

“Their design and many of their features will also contribute to our target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Both these projects are part of our ambitious new school building programme to provide the very best learning environment for our young people with more than £500 million investment planned over the next 10 years.”

Morgan Sindall Construction is also currently on site at Broomhills Primary School, in the south east of Edinburgh, with work scheduled to complete next year.

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