Young people at Fraserburgh Academy are enjoying access to a range of impressive new practical learning spaces following completion of a £2m refurbishment project at the school.

Pupils can now enjoy state-of-the-art drama, art, home economics and additional support for learners facilities which are fully accessible, windows across the estate have been replaced and access as well as lighting has been improved in other areas too.

Head teacher Irene Sharp explained what the improvements mean for young people and colleagues. She said: “We are delighted the refurbishment programme is now complete and very much look forward to showing these off to parents, friends and the wider community, at a later date. Pupils and staff are very pleased with the finished work which has greatly enhanced learning and teaching in the school.

“Art and drama used to be taught in the old Fraserburgh Academy building at the bottom of our drive which necessitated a brisk 5 minute walk for learners and staff alike. Now that we have accommodation for these subjects within the main school, for the first time in the history of Fraserburgh Academy all learning is under one roof, which has made a huge contribution to the positive ethos within the school.

“We’re also enjoying our new conference room, now situated near the front door for easy access for parental and other meetings, the new staff room with modern facilities for all staff, new ceilings and lighting for classrooms, and the enhancement of fire doors for ease of use by disabled learners. All windows across the school have been upgraded too which has made a big difference to the ability of staff to control ventilation.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s Learning Estates team led the re-development of the facilities and commissioned Bancon Construction and CHAP Construction to undertake work as part of the two-phase project. Work on the first phase started in Summer 2019, was delayed in 2020 due to the onset of the pandemic and the 12-week phase two programme was undertaken from May to August this year.

The old annexe building which was removed at the site as part of the works makes way for more external space for young people to enjoy. This also means the school is no longer considered a ‘split site’, improving the learning experience for young people.

Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, councillor Gillian Owen commented: “Investment in our school estate is driven by evidence, which looks at the condition and suitability of buildings and ensures work can be prioritised accordingly. Our Learning Estates team continues to deliver fantastic building briefs which are intuitive, dynamic and modern, and this is another great example of making best use of space and resources.”

Councillor Doreen Mair chair of Banff and Buchan Area Committee added: “Making the most of existing assets is a key priority for us as a local authority. This project also links to the national learning estates strategy, ‘Connecting People, Places and Learning’ and is based on lessons learned in terms of delivering equity, excellence and inclusion on behalf of our learners. We are pleased to see investment in Fraserburgh and we really hope young people are enjoying the fantastic new facilities on offer at Fraserburgh Academy.”