A special topping out ceremony has been held to mark the midway point in construction of the new £34 million Inverness Royal Academy.
Morrison Construction, the main contractor for the project, along with representatives from The Highland Council, development partner hub North Scotland, and Inverness Royal Academy, came together at the event (Tuesday, August 18) to celebrate the completion of the highest point of work on the building.
Councillor Drew Millar, chair of the Council’s education, children and adult services committee and hub North Scotland chief executive Angus Macfarlane led the ceremony which involved the inflation of the twin-skin translucent roof over the facility’s atrium.
The unique air-filled system allows for the transmission of over 90% of visible light, helping create a bright and striking entrance to the complex.
Work on the new school, which is part of The Highland Council’s modern schools building programme, commenced in August last year and, once complete, will see a new four-storey six-year high school built on the site of the existing Inverness Royal Academy. The new school, which will consist of 15,963 sq m of floor space and is designed to be able to cater for 1,420 pupils, will have 39 practical, 40 non-practical and five tutorial classrooms with an additional six rooms being provided in order to accommodate a range of subjects to be taught in Gaelic.
The existing school at the site on Culduthel Road will continue to operate during construction and will be used to accommodate a range of sports facilities once the new school is completed.
Hub North Scotland is the driving force behind the planning, procurement and delivery of community-based infrastructure projects across the north of Scotland. The organisation is leading the project after being appointed by The Highland Council as development partner.
Angus Macfarlane, chief executive of hub North Scotland, said: “This in an important milestone for the build of the Inverness Royal Academy and marks a year of construction work on the new facility.
“Progress on the site is continuing to gather momentum and the topping out ceremony has helped provide a visual demonstration of the work that has already gone into what will eventually be a first-class facility which will bring major benefits to the wider Inverness community.
“Successful partnership working really is at the heart of the hub model and we look forward to continuing to work with The Highland Council and main contractor Morrison Construction to enhance the modern school provision within the region.”
Donald Mclachlan, Regional Director – Highland, for Morrison Construction said: “The inflation of the last area, the twin-skin translucent roof, is another exciting step towards the school’s completion, which is on time and budget, and we are all looking forward to seeing Inverness Royal Academy open to the pupils next June.
“This is going to be a fabulous facility when it is finished and I am sure the local community will feel a great sense of pride in this building. This project adds to our portfolio of Schools built for Highland Council and strengthens our relationship with Hub North.”