|The new Castlebrae Community Campus was officially opened at a special ceremony today (Friday 11 November) by the City of Edinburgh Council Leader Cammy Day.
The £28m community building on Niddrie Mains Road has been delivered for the Council by Hub South East Scotland Ltd in partnership with Morrison Construction as the main contractor.
The 700 capacity school, which has the potential to be extended to 1,200, opened to pupils and staff in April. It has been built in the heart of Craigmillar, next to the East Neighbourhood Centre and library and was developed after extensive consultation with educationalists, service users and the local community.
At the heart of the design are a variety of spaces for learning activities to support collaborative and inclusive practice, developing and enhancing strategies for continuing improvement in attainment and achievement.
There are three main learning plazas which provide opportunities for staff to plan innovative and creative learning experiences together, to further develop and apply skills for learning, life and work in different contexts for pupils.
A good example of the shared use of the school spaces is the Science Super Lab Collaboration area which has already seen community and partnership use through the school’s working with Edinburgh University and the Bio Quarter.
Externally there is an extensive area of landscaped ground which is used for outdoor learning activities, as well as providing social areas and facilities for leisure and recreation. The entrance to the building is linked into a new community town square. There is also a 3G sports pitch which can be booked for community use out of school hours.
Norma Prentice, Head Teacher at Castlebrae Community Campus, said:
“The learning plazas and classrooms provide an excellent environment for the highest quality learning and teaching. It is a pleasure to work here and all the staff and pupils love being in such a bright and open building.”
S4 pupil Evan Glass said:
“It’s a brilliant modern building and is very accessible for everyone. It’s an inclusive school and allows all pupils to achieve. The school is amazing for pupils like myself who are on the autistic spectrum as the breakout spaces mean when I need a quiet safe place I do not miss out on my education as much as I used to.”
Council Leader Cammy Day said:
“We want all our schools to provide the very best learning environment for our young people. The new Castlebrae Community Campus is a great example of this with its collaborative learning plazas and breakout spaces and is an asset for the whole community to enjoy.
“The new school campuses we’re planning are innovatively and sustainably designed so they are inspirational places for learning for the next generation of young people in Scotland’s capital. That’s why we have a £500m planned investment programme over this decade with a number of new schools already in the pipeline such as Liberton High School and Currie High School.”
Councillor Joan Griffiths, Education, Children and Families Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said:
“The name of the new school, Castlebrae Community Campus, really says it all as it’s right in the heart of Craigmillar and is there for all the community to use. It’s been a long road for the school to reach this milestone and it couldn’t have been achieved without the hard work of staff, students and the wider community and support of key partners.
“The campus shows our commitment to creating a first-class learning environment for all our children in the city and one that showcases what can be achieved when you build an exciting, inspirational and creative hub for the whole community.”
Scott Brown, Hub South East’s Project Director, said:
“We were delighted to be welcomed back to the Castlebrae Community Campus for its official opening and see the positive feedback from pupils, staff and the local community. We’re proud to have delivered this fantastic learning space for the City of Edinburgh Council, alongside our main contractor Morrison Construction.
“Importantly, in addition to the state-of-the-art building, the project realised a range of community benefits from apprenticeships and work experience, to donations of money and time for local projects. The social value delivered leaves a lasting legacy in the area and demonstrates the positive wider impact of projects being delivered through the Hub programme.”