Project Overview

Client Dumfries & Galloway Council

Project Value £26.5m

Key Contact Craig Bridges: Regional Development Director - Scotland

Expertise £26.5m

Division Education

Timeline March 2016 to November 2017

Location Scotland

Dalbeattie Shared Learning Campus, Dumfries & Galloway

Transforming education through innovation

Project Summary

The transformative Dalbeattie Learning Campus amalgamates Dalbeattie High School with both the Dalbeattie Primary School and Nursery School onto one shared, multi-purpose site.

Our innovative passive design strategy helped reduce the overall building footprint by 10% (890m2) while saving approximately £1.8m in cost. The £26.5m state-of-the-art campus was officially handed over in November 2017 following a collaborative 18-month building programme that was recognised for our active community engagement throughout the consultation and construction process.

Project Brief

As a trusted construction partner to the education sector, we were tasked with replacing Dalbeattie’s dispersed Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools into one “whole of life” learning campus with the capacity to meet, and exceed, the educational requirements of the town’s children and young people, ranging from three years of age to 18, while making a positive difference to the wider community.

Project Challenges

The shared campus vision of the Dumfries & Galloway Council, and the subsequent aspirations proposed by the three different schools, meant that reciprocal spaces were requested by all stakeholders.

Similarly, as the new learning campus was projected to be a central hub for the wider Dalbeattie community, extensive consultation and subsequent buy-in from a broad range of stakeholders, each with their own unique priorities, was identified as critical from the outset of the project.

Project Solution

Our experienced team actively set the tone for the project by initiating a consultation and community engagement programme, incorporating design workshops, sample rooms and voting mechanisms, during the design process.

A project first focus, and a commitment to problem solving, also facilitated the establishment of a dedicated Community Benefit Advisor role to garner trust from the local community and ultimately guarantee that their views were reflected in the final building plans.

Tangible outcomes emerging from this collaborative approach included a significant 10% reduction in building footprint (890m2), which saved approximately £1.8m in cost and served to maximise the outdoor learning space available to pupils. Incorporating the “whole of life” education ethos espoused by the Campus’s educators and 800 pupils into the new build’s passive design ensured a plethora of innovative features including a focus on natural daylighting and ventilation, flexible teaching spaces of optimum depth and facilities built to make a sustainable, lasting impact.

Outputs & Benefits Delivered

Cost Saving Efficiencies Reduction of 10% in building footprint (890m2) resulting in approximate cost saving of £1.8m

Innovative Design M&E design shaved circa 30% off the M&E costs

Experienced Project Management Designed and delivered on time and within budget

Investment in Local Community Mechanical Engineer Graduate recruited from Napier University and 9 job opportunities created, 7 of which were filled by Dumfries & Galloway residents

Community Engagement Dalbeattie High School pupils received construction site experience through the CREST Scheme

"Dalbeattie Learning Campus will deliver first class facilities and transform education in Dalbeattie, delivering learning facilities appropriate for the 21st century. We were all very impressed by the new campus"

Councillor Jeff Leaver Chair of the Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning [CYPLL] committee

"It is a brilliant development and one that the whole of the local community can be proud of"

Ros Surtees Councillor

"The whole building is so spacious, bright and welcoming and a huge amount of thought, including a very large input from the pupils, has gone into the design of all aspects of the building. The setting is spectacular and the sports facilities and opportunities for outdoor learning are absolutely first class. I'm very envious of the young people and the staff who will be using this amazing facility"

Councillor Jeff Leaver Chair of the Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning [CYPLL] committee

"The community engagement during the design process was the best I have ever seen"

Stephen Heppell Professor