Whatriggs Primary School success

Whatriggs Primary School and Early Education Centre in Kilmarnock was successfully handed over by Morrison Construction in advance of the new 2017 Autumn term. Collaborating throughout with East Ayrshire Council’s Architecture Department and Education Team, Keppie Design developed the exemplar design provided at tender stage, remodelling the elevations and rationalising the plan to provide added value.

An amalgamation of two local schools (Kirkstyle and Bellfield Primaries), the school now accommodates approximately 500 pupils, with a further 110 places available within the Early Education Centre which caters for 0-5 year olds. Constructed on the site of the Bellfield Community Centre, Keppie employed Hirst Landscape Architects to complete the design of all external spaces, responding to the Council’s desire for less structured and more flexible play areas for all ages.

Morrison Construction and East Ayrshire Council recently celebrated the success of Whatriggs Primary School
when they received the GO Best Service Award for Contractors working with the Scottish Public Sector. Keppie are delighted to have been involved in the evolution and construction of this design, which highlights one of the success stories within this type of Public Sector procurement.

Allan Cunningham, Operations Director for Morrison Construction Scotland said:

‘’Whatriggs is the latest school
in our series of successful partnerships with Keppie, and an excellent example of Client, Contractor and Architect working in true partnership to deliver excellent outcomes. East Ayrshire Council had not previously followed a Design and Build route; but were impressed with our innovative and collaborative approach; Lesley Buntain’s professionalism and personal commitment to the project was instrumental in engaging all the project stakeholders, particularly school staff, to produce what has proven to be an exemplary design. The design itself, and the collaborative processes behind it have been recognised with national awards, and have set a high benchmark. It shows that good school design need not come with a cost premium, the key to success is to engage designers who deeply understand the education sector, and can relate to all the users, teachers and pupils to optimise the outcomes.’’

John Thomson, Senior Architect for East Ayrshire Council (EAC Capital Programme) said:

“Early meetings after appointment at Keppie’s offices in Glasgow were instrumental in co-ordinating the input from all disciplines, and this early dialogue allowed the design to be developed in line with the aspirations of all key stakeholders from the various EAC departments that had to be incorporated. From the very outset Keppie Design took ownership of their particular design responsibilities and, with subtle modifications drawn from their schools experience, enhanced the Council’s initial proposals. From the pre-development process right through to operations on site and completion there was a collaborative, can-do positive attitude. Their duty of care, professionalism and considerable input, including attendance at various client/end user workshops throughout the process was instrumental in the ultimate success of the project which was delivered exactly on programme ahead of the new school term this August.”

Lesley Buntain, Associate for Keppie Design said:

‘‘This was a great project for Keppie right from the start. The collaborative working relationship that developed between East Ayrshire Council and Morrison Construction created an open atmosphere where decisions really were made as a team. East Ayrshire Council, although the originators of the exemplar, were always willing to consider changes where we felt improvements could be made or value added. We always welcome feedback from everyone involved in projects, particularly teachers and their pupils, and we are especially pleased that everyone associated with Whatriggs seems to be thrilled with their new school.’’