Monday, July 16, 2007

Where should Kirkwall Grammar School go?

I believe that if a new KGS is to be built, it should be on the sports fields adjacent to the existing school, and that there is plenty of room to accommodate a spacious modern building demonstrating best practice, without significant disruption during building. Building a community school in this location will enhance the amenity of the area and the town, and retaining the KGS sports centre will maintain rather than diminish the provision of facilities to the wider community, and offer best value to the Schools Estate project.

The Orkney Today allowed me to argue this case in their 12/7/07 edition, and the full version of the piece I submitted can be viewed here (pdf, 287 kB).

The version reproduced in the paper omitted my carefully researched references for reasons of space, but they are listed below:


[1] Falkirk Council Community Schools 2008 Design Workshop- click here

[2] More than just a place to learn- design guidance for new schools- click here

[3] Balfron High School PFI Project Full Business Case - click here

[4] The Orkney Local Plan, p118- Policy LP/S3 re. retaining and improving existing recreational facilities

[5] The Orkney Local Plan p122- Policy LP/S5 re. educational facilities designed and located for maximum convenience, and incorporation of community facilities.

Add your comments to the debate
by clicking on the Comments link below this post.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Active, schools

Another lull in the posting, but this is because the Council activity has cranked up over the last two weeks.

Getting back from south my diary looked clear with only P&R on the 26th and the General Meeting tomorrow, 5th July. Not the case- checking my pigeon hole and email when I got back, all available space filled up. Week commencing 25th June started with Media Training and Personnel seminars and an evening meeting of the Last Monday Group, a business networking thing. P&R on Tuesday, a meeting of the Legalised Police Cells Visiting Committee and cell visit on Thursday followed by the Best Value Working Group pre meeting, with a meeting at HIE Orkney sandwiched between them (literally, as I choked back my rolls throughout it), and on Friday the Heritage and Museums Study Day followed by farewell presentations for Education staff.

So in between all that I tried to keep up with my business commitments, and constituency business- tricky, but I'm getting better at it. I need to! This week has followed the same pattern.

At the weekend I wrote up my thoughts on the siting of the school(s), and I'll post that next week. The consultation that is going on now does not really widen it out to the whole community- and this is probably the biggest public building project since the Cathedral (I'm not counting WW2 as a public building project). It's also a bit backside foremost, as a public debate has not taken place. I'll be doing my best to start the debate and contribute to it, but let me come off the fence right now and say that it would be CRAZY MAD to put the Kirkwall Grammar School anywhere other than Papdale, and I've got 2000 words and counting that backs this up.

Anyone who wants to see what the Schools Estate Consulation questionnaire says and asks can find a scan of it here. It's about 2MB.