Plans to extend Kemnay Academy approved

MEMBERS of the Garioch Area Committee gave the green light for a much needed extension to Kemnay Academy at their recent meeting held on Tuesday (January 15).

Councillors agreed unanimously to press ahead with the plans for the extension that will include a reception area, new office accommodation, a social area, 12 new classrooms, a gym with changing facilities and an energy centre.

The extension will comprise two sections running off the academy’s distinctive hexagonal building. New classrooms will be on two floors, and the old entrance will be replaced by a new glazed entrance feature with a large social area immediately behind it.

The main feature of the second section will be the new games hall and changing facilities, and will also feature a dance studio. The entire complex will be heated by its own biomass energy centre.

Another innovative feature will be an outdoor covered performance / teaching area with stage and seating.

Kemnay Academy is currently over-capacity with 730 pupils in a building designed for 600. the academy currently uses 12 relocatable classrooms to provide teaching space. Aberdeenshire Council’s own school-roll forecast predicts that the academy will pass 800 plus pupils by 2018. Two of the primary schools in academy’s catchment area are also over capacity, Kinellar and Kintore, with both schools having rolls that are predicted to continue to rise over the next five years. Continued growth in Kintore will also see a second primary school being built within the next two to three years, if all plans go ahead.

• ALSO at the meeting on Tuesday, the committee deferred proposals by the council’s Property Service to change an area of public open space at the rear of numbers 14 and 15 Stonefield Place, Inverurie to garden ground for the properties.

The properties are part of an affordable housing complex built by the council.

Originally the committee had decided to retain the ground as an area of public open space but space, but the Planning Service now consider the ground is poorly located and of poor quality, and after being shown pictures of the area committee members agreed that “Stonefield” was an apt name for the area.

Councillor Kitts-Hayes said that in 10 years he had never supported the chane of use of public open space but on this occasion he he did not think it was suitable as a public amenity and was prepared to support the application.

After further discussion by committee members it was decided to defer the application to look into the possibility of the land being converted to allotments prior to to making a decision at the next meeting.