New West End Schools – latest contractor’s newsletter

As I have previously indicated, there has been good progress with regard to completion of the new St Joseph’s Primary School, Park Place Primary School (to be newly named Victoria Park Primary School) and Park Place Nursery School (to be newly named Balgay Hill Nursery School).
 
The new schools on the Logie site will be opened after the October school holiday.
 
The contractor has kept adjacent residents updated throughout the building of the new schools and recently issued his seventh newsletter to residents.   You can download it by going to http://tinyurl.com/schoolnewsletter7.

West End Schools’ Project Board

Yesterday afternoon, I attended the latest meeting of the West End Schools’ Project Board, the group overseeing the project to build the new St Joseph’s Primary School, Park Place Primary School and Park Place Nursery School.

Construction progress is on schedule with a targeted completion time of mid-September.   This will allow for the pupils and staff to move to their new schools on the former Logie Secondary School site after the October holiday.

The Park Place schools will have new names (as they will no longer be sited in Park Place) – these will be Balgay Hill Nursery School and Victoria Park Primary School.    The Education Department has updated me as to the process used to choose these new names, as follows:

Park Place Primary School


All pupils, parents and staff were engaged in the process.
A survey was carried out on whether or not to change the new name.
Suggestions were sought for a new name.
All were involved in voting their choice from a short list of three (background information was provided for all on why was would be an appropriate name).
Pupil Council counted the votes.
The whole process was discussed at each Local Implementation Group.


Park Place Nursery School

The names were chosen in full consultation with the parents.  The parents came up with five names and these were sent out for them to select their favourite.
The logos/badges were drawn by the children and four were scanned on the one piece of paper for the parents with their children to choose their favourite.  Staff had the same choice.

Trees concern at new school site

Constituents have contacted me to voice concern that two trees have been removed from the Blackness Road boundary of the site of the new St Joseph’s and Park Place primary/nursery schools (new building – right).   It is understood that these trees were originally a gift to the city and looked lovely in bloom, so residents are disappointed they have been removed.

I contacted the City Council’s education capital projects manager about this and have received the following feedback:

“The two trees in question have been removed after careful consideration and with full consultation with the Council Forestry Officer, Planning Case Officer and Team leader.
Essentially the proximity of the artificial playing surface and the retainment around this facility have dictated the need for the trees to be removed.  The actual root ball of the tree would not be materially affected by the installation of the retaining wall.  Unfortunately, however, the root infrastructure for the tree water system would be compromised and this may well have an effect on the trees’ health which could have resulted in it dying over the course of the coming months.
In addition the opinion of the Council Forestry Officer was that the trees have a limited future life possibly another 10 to 12 years and therefore a void may be left in the site even if the watering network of the roots were not compromised.
It is not envisaged at this stage that any further trees along the Blackness Road elevation or other areas of the site will require to be removed.
The strategy agreed with the Council planners is to plant 5 new trees between the Blackness Road boundary and the retaining wall, with a further 4 trees around the corner into the Glenagnes Road perimeter of the site.  Again this has been done in consultation with the Planning Department, prior to making the decision to remove the exiting two trees.
In addition further trees will be planted on site as per the agreed planning permission soft landscaping layout.”

The loss of any mature trees is to be regretted, so I am relieved that no further trees will be removed and that new trees will be planted.

Monday …

Yesterday, I attended the latest meeting of the City Council’s School Parking and Pupil Safety Working Group.

Following the initial meeting of the group before the recent City Council elections, a number of site visits to schools have taken place and feedback from these – along with risk assessments of schools’ parking and drop-off facilities across the city – were discussed yesterday.

I was keen to emphasise that drop-off and parking arrangements at the new West End schools project – on the former Logie Secondary site at Glenagnes Road/Blackness Road – must be fully resolved before St Joseph’s Primary School, Park Place Nursery School and Park Place Primary School move to their new homes in October.    There are a number of matters to be tackled in relation to this but the important thing is that we see much better facilities at the new site than in the current locations in Bellfield Street and Park Place.

After my two Monday ward surgeries (at Harris Academy and the Mitchell Street Centre), I had the pleasure of attending the latest committee meeting of the River Crescent Residents’ Association, at which we discussed a number of local matters including vehicle speeds, road condition, the forthcoming Dundee WestFest events, Riverside Nature Park and local bus services.

New Nursery/Primary Schools progress – latest newsletter

As I recently indicated following a site visit, good progress is being made on the new building for St Joseph’s Primary School, Park Place Nursery School and Park Place Primary School – due to open in October.

The contractor has now issued another newsletter – his sixth – to residents who live in the immediate vicinity of the building site on Blackness Road/Glenagnes Road.    

This is a good initiative to keep residents informed and you can download the newsletter at http://tinyurl.com/schoolsnewsletter6.

Inside the new West End schools

As I indicated last week, I had the pleasure of attending a site visit around the new West End schools building project at Blackness Road/Glenagnes Road, that will become the new home of St Joseph’s Primary School and Park Place Nursery and Primary Schools from this autumn.

I did not post photos of the internal of the new schools as all participants were specifically asked not to take photographs for health and safety reasons in what is, of course, currently a building site.   Given that constituents are keen to see progress, I requested that Robertsons, the contractor, give us publicly available photos and I am pleased these have now been provided – see below.   It is good to see progress towards excellent new nursery and primary schools provision in the West End: 
Upper Floor Classroom
Kitchen Area
Ground Floor Classroom
Reception Area
Corridor Area

Schools visits

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking part in a site visit to the new West End schools building project – on the site of the former Logie Secondary site at Blackness Road/Glenagnes Road – that will provide the new centres for St Joseph’s Primary School, Park Place Nursery School and Park Place Primary School – see right.

Progress is good and the schools are scheduled to open on the new site after the October holidays.   Apart from the site visit, I had a useful discussion with council officers about road/pupil safety around the area adjacent to the new schools.

And – talking of pupil/road safety – later the same day, as part of the working group on road safety outside schools in Dundee, I took part in a visit to Forthill Primary School in Broughty Ferry, where there are real concerns about vehicle movements close to the school.   It was a highly informative site visit and – as one of the first ever pupils of Forthill PS back in the late 1960s and whose younger son attended the school in the late 1980s/early 1990s – it was good to revisit the school that has seen significant extension/improvement in recent years – see below.   I am anxious to see this working group result in improvements to pupil safety outside schools across Dundee.