The development of a new £39 million community campus in Forfar reached an important milestone today (Wednesday) after contractor Robertson Tayside ‘topped out’ the building.
Celebrating the completion of the highest point of the structure, construction will now focus on making the building wind and water tight, before finally moving on to fitting out the interior.
The new Forfar Community Campus will replace the existing Forfar Academy, Lochside Leisure Centre and Forfar Swimming Pool, as well as providing enhanced community facilities such as a performance space and accommodation for adult learning and youth activities.
The project is being led by hub East Central Scotland in partnership with Angus Council, Robertson Tayside and Scottish Futures Trust.
Staff from Robertson Construction were joined by Angus Council’s convener in children and learning, Councillor Sheena Welsh, in celebrating the landmark stage in the project, which is due to be completed in 2017.
Speaking at the ceremony, Derek Shewan, chief executive of Robertson Group, said: “Forfar Community Campus is an ambitious project that will bring fantastic facilities to the town. Reaching this stage of the build means we are on schedule to complete the first phase of the project – which includes completing the campus building, car park and initial sports pitches – in early 2017.
“Reaching this important stage in the project, you begin to see its true scale and appreciate just how big this will be for the people of Forfar.”
Councillor Welsh said: “The progress in the build has been remarkable and is testament to all the planning and hard work that continues to be put in by the council and our partners which will create a facility of which everyone in Forfar can be proud.
“The campus approach allows us to bring together a range of enhanced services and spaces designed for use both during and out with the school day by the whole community.”
Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland, said: “We have worked closely with Angus Council to deliver this complex project and it is exciting to see it taking shape on the ground. When complete, it will provide a sustainable facility at the heart of the Forfar community, ensuring best value for its citizens.”
Kevin Dickson, regional managing director of Robertson Tayside, added: “We believe the campus will be a real community asset and we have been proud to be able to support local contractors and employers as they work on this fantastic building.
“While we are proud of reaching this landmark, we are looking forward to continuing working with the community as we embark on the next stage in the project.”
The school is due to be completed in 2017.
Earlier this month, 16 teenagers from Angus and Dundee enjoyed a hands-on demonstration of what it’s like to work on the site as part of the ‘Future Starts’ programme, run jointly by Robertson Construction and the Prince’s Trust
After enjoying a look around the site, the aspiring builders got a taste of what it’s like to be working on site, trying their hand at bricklaying and joinery.
And last month, Forfar Academy’s head teacher, Melvyn Lynch, had to be saved from the top of a crane working on the new Community Campus.
Firefighters scaled the 25 metre-high crane to save the charismatic teacher as the school’s pupils watched the drama unfold from the ground – but it was all part of a training exercise for the emergency services.
Mr Shewan added: “Working in such a close knit community, it’s important to make the most of unique developments such as this. Before this building is finished, it has already proved to be a valuable educational asset for the whole area.”
The Forfar Community Campus is being developed by Angus Council in partnership with the hub East Central Scotland and the Scottish Futures Trust.