Morrison Construction has been appointed preferred contractor to deliver one of Scotland’s largest and most ambitious education projects through a two-stage design and build process.

The proposed Knockroon Learning and Enterprise Campus in Cumnock aims to create a state-of-the-art educational and recreational environment for the whole community.

Subject to planning approval, it will be the biggest capital project ever undertaken by East Ayrshire Council, with costs in the region of £63.5 million.

It will draw together five local primary and secondary schools, early years nursery provision and supported education facilities into a single joint campus on the edge of Cumnock

The appointment follows an extensive procurement exercise by the local authority and its advisers.

As part of the process, community stakeholders including pupils, parents and teachers from the local schools, together with representatives from sports clubs and community groups were invited to attend presentations by bidding contractors and feedback to the client’s selection panel.

In addition to the design and construction challenges, the client has also set demanding community benefit targets, which our team plans to meet through education, training, employment and other initiatives.

A significant proportion of the building’s energy will be generated by onsite renewables, including photovoltaics on the building’s roof and a bio-mass heating system.

The campus will also be significantly enhanced through new hard and soft landscaping, planting and infrastructure to offer a more useable space.

Eddie Robertson, Morrison Construction’s Managing Director for Central Scotland, said:

“This project is a major investment in education and well-being provision for the communities of Cumnock, Auchinleck and the surrounding area and we are very excited to have the opportunity to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to make these plans a reality.

“The development is set to create a modern, long lasting facility for pupils, staff and the community.

“We will continue our engagement with school and community stakeholders throughout the construction programme and create excellent education and employment opportunities which ensure positive local impact and legacy benefits.”

Subject to completion of all necessary consultations and procurement procedures, construction is planned to begin in 2017, with an opening scheduled for 2019.

The five schools that will be located on the new 19.8 hectare campus include; Greenmill Primary School and Early Childhood Centre, Barshare Primary School, Supported Learning Centre and Early Childhood Centre, Hillside School, Auchinleck Academy and Cumnock Academy and Supported Learning Centre. The proposals also include further education and business enterprise facilities.