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Schools’ revamp kicks off

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By Rod Edgar
Dumfries and West
Schools’ revamp kicks off

A MULTI-MILLION pound overhaul of schools provision in Dumfries has officially begun.

Work to transform St Joseph’s College began yesterday as part of the ambitious Dumfries Learning Town (DLT) project – which itself is part of a wider £44 million council capital investment programme for the year.
Dumfries and Galloway Council Leader Ronnie Nicholson said: “This council’s capital programme has normally been around £30 million a year.
“Despite funding cuts imposed by the Scottish Government, our council administration’s programme this year proposes to invest more than £44 million on projects across Dumfries and Galloway – from new schools to regenerating our town centres.”
Councillor Nicholson added: “The start of the learning town project will see nearly £15 million alone invested in beginning the work refurbishing St Joseph’s College and on building the new North West Learning campus and Education Hub.”
And he says over £9 million will be invested in infrastructure such as road improvements and major flood prevention schemes.
Graham Construction are serving as the main contractor on the revamp of St Joseph’s College and construction of new learning hub ‘The Bridge’.
Pupils were moved into a set of temporary classrooms at the start of the new school term in August.
Work will include refurbishment of an existing extension and the demolition and construction of a new wing to provide all facilities under one roof.
External works will include the provision of a new 3G sports facility and the reinstatement of grass pitches.
When completed, St Joseph’s will be more than 8000 square metres in size with accommodation for 644 students and 72 staff.
Regional director of Graham Construction Gary Holmes said: “DLT is an innovative and exciting project and we are proud to be here today at the start of work with the partners to deliver a new approach to education for the area, starting with the redevelopment of historic St Joseph’s College.”
Councillor Nicholson meanwhile argues wider benefits from the proposed £44 million capital investment strategy for 2016/17.
He said: “Not only will we significantly improve facilities locally, but we will deliver work for local contractors and other businesses and employment in the region helping to boost the local economy.”

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