Fury over new school design

St Andrew's Primary School Bearsden.
St Andrew's Primary School Bearsden.

Angry parents have accused the council of “completely changing” a previously agreed design for a new merged Catholic primary school.

Over the last 18 months an Interim Parent Council (IPC) for the school for pupils from St Joseph’s Primary in Milngavie and St Andrew’s Primary in Bearsden, has been working closely with East Dunbartonshire Council representatives and architects to make sure that teachers’, parents’ and pupils’ views were taken into consideration for the design of the new school.

After the initial consultation the council and architects presented three proposals to the IPC for consideration and they chose what they believed would be the final design.

However, they were dismayed to be presented with an entirely different design at a meeting on June 21.

A member of the IPC, Rosemary Greenlees Smith, said: “The design strongly resembled Lairdsland Primary School, Kirkintilloch.

“We had visited this school previously and voiced concerns about it and made it clear that this is not what we envisaged the new school to look like.

“When we questioned the change in design the council said it was due to site and cost restraints. They explained that due to the cost of the ground works required to deliver the previous design, the architects had delivered this new design.

“And it had also already been submitted to the council for approval so we had no chance to change it.”

Councillors voted for the school design last Tuesday.

Mrs Greenlees Smith said: “I’ve been attending meetings after work for almost two years and missing my dinner - and it was a complete waste of time. They were never going to listen to our ideas.

“I feel silly now that I believed that they wanted a genuine consultation.

“I have no faith in the system any more. The consultation was purely a box ticking exercise.”

Chief Education Officer, Jacqui MacDonald, said: “We are very sorry that the IPC are not happy with the final design. Their input has been taken very seriously.

“We believe that school users being involved in the design will ensure the best possible school building and we hope that parents will continue to work with us to achieve this. The new building will provide improved facilities to deliver high quality education for the children.”