President David Barclay welcomed twenty-six members to the eleventh meeting of the year and introduced guest speaker Tim Mckay, rector of Ellon Academy, whose talk was on the New Ellon Academy which is due to open in the summer of 2015.
Tim has been heavily involved as project manager of the Ellon Academy Community Campus, at Cromleybank, which is the town’s biggest project to date.
Tim discussed why the Cromleybank site was chosen for the Academy- a combination of footprint size of the site and low financial cost at present estimated at approximately forty million pounds.
The building provides 10% extra space in all its rooms and public areas, is energy efficient with under floor heating, solar panels on the roof, and boilers using biomass fuel.
The dining area is designed to cope with serving three, to four hundred meals in twenty minutes.
Children will have access to a special card to pay for meals and parents can upload the card periodically on the Internet. Classrooms will be equipped with video screens, the traditional blackboard and computers will be used extensively as and when required.
It is hoped to attract a teacher from China to teach Mandarin, a language ever more important in the world of commerce. The academy will work closely with Aberdeen University and courses for senior pupils will form part of a university degree thereby reducing time and cost for students.
Members greatly appreciated Tim’s detailed talk and asked many questions throughout.
The vote of thanks was made by David Crosley.