Pupils, staff, councillors and construction workers gathered this week to celebrate the start of building works on two new “modern and engaging” campuses for South Ayrshire.

Maybole Community Campus, set to open in 2023, will incorporate Carrick Academy, St Cuthbert’s Primary School, and a new non-denominational primary school that will be formed by amalgamating Cairn Primary and Gardenrose Primary.

With its Early Years Centre, operating 52 weeks of the year, the £50m campus will accommodate up to 1,370 pupils.

The “inspiring learning environment” will also benefit the local community, with a new swimming pool to replace the existing Maybole pool; a meeting space; enhanced sports facilities and a changing pavilion.  

And Prestwick Educational Campus, due to open in 2022, is set to provide a “first-class” learning experience for over 800 children from Glenburn and St Ninian’s Primary Schools, and their associated nursery provision. The schools will continue to operate individually on the site but will benefit from the improved shared facilities.

Work on the new Prestwick centre, being built on the existing Glenburn Primary site, is progressing well with foundations already nearing completion.

Both new campuses, which are being built by Hub South West Scotland’s construction team, will have a modern flexible ICT network which can support a wider use of digital technologies. 

All staff, children and young people will have access to desktops, laptops and managed mobile devices which provide connectivity to the South Ayrshire network, the internet and a range of approved educational apps and websites. 

Each teaching space will be set up with the latest version of the Promethean ActivPanel – an Android based interactive panel that utilises the latest technology, providing “the most intuitive and integrated learning experiences available”, packed with enhanced interactivity, productivity, and engagement tools.

Both campuses were designed by architecture firm BDP and will be highly sustainable, with no use of fossil fuels, demonstrating our commitment to reducing Council emissions to net zero by 2045.  

Councillor William Grant, South Ayrshire Council’s portfolio holder for children and young people said: “I’m delighted that work has begun on both campuses. It’s our priority to ensure our children and young people get the best possible start in life and thrive throughout their years at school.

“This investment in our school estate will bring fantastic learning facilities to Maybole and Prestwick, helping us to close the attainment gap in South Ayrshire.

“The new campuses will not only provide modern and engaging environments for our young people, but they will also become central hubs for the surrounding communities, and I look forward to seeing the buildings take shape.”

The schools within the campuses will also have access to cluster digital lending libraries that consist of a wide range of programmable resources including Code-a-Pillars, Botley Robots, BlueBots, Dash and Dot Robots, Sphero Bolts, Marty Robots and Micro:bits. 

According to South Ayrshire Council, access to these resources “supports learning and teaching of computing science from early through to fourth level i.e. building from simple sequencing tasks to using advanced programming languages such as Python or Java.”

In addition, schools will also have access to augmented and virtual reality resources and equipment such as Merge Cubes and ClassVR Headsets.  All the resources accessible to schools will be accompanied with support, guidance and cross-curricular lesson and topic plans.