Construction work has begun on Chryston’s new £20 million combined primary school and health center campus.
The community hub incorporates a 17-classroom school to accommodate 500 pupils – which is due to open in August 2023 – and a new NHS Lanarkshire facility to replace and expand on services at the current Muirhead clinic.
Youngsters from Chryston Primary joined contractors and council representatives for a turf-cutting ceremony at the Lanrig Park site, located across Lindsaybeg Road from the current combined primary and secondary campus.
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The new school is needed to accommodate a rising pupil roll following housebuilding in the area, with portable buildings being used at the current site to provide sufficient capacity.
Each classroom will have direct access to the extensive landscaped playground which will include a “daily mile” route marked out with footprints, plus bug hotels, allotment beds and a fire pit surrounded by log seating.
Three learning wings of class bases will each have a shared flexible group-work spaces, and pupils will also have a gym hall with changing rooms, stage and dining area, an e-learning zone and stepped activity space, plus outdoor sports facilities.
Children, staff, parents and the local community helped develop the campus design, which will incorporate a brick facade “in recognition of the historical production of bricks in the area”.
Project officials say: “We worked closely with them to ensure the design reflected our aspirations while taking into account the community’s requirements and the area’s natural heritage and architecture.”
Its adjoining health center will have a range of clinical and treatment spaces plus wellbeing areas including a dedicated garden, as well as car parking and active travel links.
Maggs Thomson of Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire said: “This is a major milestone towards delivering a new state-of-the-art health clinic for Chryston and the surrounding area.
“It will be purpose-built, providing services close to where people live and ensuring local people no longer need to travel to Glasgow.
“Services will continue to run at the existing health clinic during construction and then transfer to the new facility once completed, meaning there should be minimal disruption for patients; and working with local service users, .we will develop a modern facility meeting the needs of people in the area.”
Education convener Frank McNally said: “The new facility will provide the children and residents of Chryston and surrounding areas with superb facilities.
“This event is another clear example of the council’s vision for its communities, to provide first-class learning environments for pupils and teaching staff and deliver excellent facilities for the wider community to benefit from.
“Our integrated town hubs and smaller community hubs are modernizing the entire school estate and offer multiple services from the council and partners; we’re delivering significant investment across North Lanarkshire that will benefit people of all ages now and for generations to come.”
Chryston’s new school and health center is being delivered by council development partner Hub South West, whose chief executive Michael Ross said: “It’s fantastic to celebrate the start of this exciting project, and our focus on the benefits to the community and local economy will ensure this facility is enjoyed for generations to come.”
It has been designed by Ryder, with the build being carried out by Robertson Construction – whose representative Andy McLinden said: “This is the first project we will deliver on behalf of Hub South West and we look forward to engaging with the people of Chryston as the build progresses.
“Our experience in the education and healthcare sectors will allow us to deliver a state-of-the-art facility that not only supports the council’s vision but that the whole community can be proud of.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.