By Jan Spaans
The official contracts to build Ayr’s new Queen Margaret Academy have been signed.
Within two years, up to 800 pupils will spend their weekdays in the new facility. QMA Head teacher Tony Flynn speaks about the necessity and advantages of a new building.
Flynn is very clear as to why the new building really is needed. “There are issues with the roof of the school. It was scheduled to be refurbished four or five years ago, but the cost would be extremely high. The decision was taken that, in the long run, it would be more cost-effective to rebuild the school.
“The current building was built in the 1970s, when heating, insulating and design were very different. It is also an expensive building to run: it needs a lot of care and maintenance and it has a large, flat roof which leaks.”
The new building, estimated to be ready for use within 18 to 24 months, has plenty of positives. “It will be better resourced and insulated and the new building will be designed according to 21st-century standards. Its best feature will be the quality of the learning spaces, everything will be connected with smart boards. The learning spaces will also be brighter and create a more appealing learning environment”, Flynn says.
On top of that, the new building brings good news for sports fanatics, even those who do not attend QMA. Everyone in the community will get to enjoy the gyms and all-weather pitches that are part of the plans. “The current sports facilities are good, but the new ones will be first-class and they will be open to the public after 5pm. So there will be outdoor facilities and indoor areas open to the public after the school closes and also at weekends”, the head teacher explains.