Striking images showing how Scotland’s first “super-campus” could look have been revealed.
The £180m Dunfermline Learning Campus will combine new St Columba’s RC and Woodmill high schools with a new Fife College campus in a move education bosses say will create unrivalled opportunities for youngsters in the area.
Fully detailed planning applications have now been submitted to Fife Council planners to examine after the masterplan was approved in May – with separate papers submitted for the schools and college elements.
AHR Architects, on behalf of Fife Council, says the campus is a “visionary project” that will offer “significant educational, social and economic advantages”.
“It is a unique opportunity to provide a consolidated approach to learning and life skills development, supporting a clear learner pathway from secondary-level education through to training and third level/further education, onwards into the world of business, enterprise and employment,” the agent added.
The images show how the sprawling campus will spread from north to south on the former Freescale/Hyundai site, with multi-purpose 3G sports pitches along the southern edge next to the already approved bus and coach parking.
Previous assurances that the two high schools will retain their independence, despite sharing the same buildings, have been considered as part of the design. Both schools will have their names emblazoned on the entrance, and both school crests feature throughout the airy interior.
The college element of the campus will cover 20,000 square-meters and incorporate a general teaching building, a large engineering and construction division, a four-court sports hall, and social and civic spaces.
Hugh Hall, the principal of Fife College, said the new campus would be “transformational for education in Scotland”.
“From senior school to further and higher education, and the provision of courses to meet the needs of business, we want to offer the stepping stones needed to allow students to achieve their personal and professional goals,” he said in a statement included with the college plans.
“We are determined to offer all learners, and the wider community, a fantastic learning environment in which to thrive.”
Both schools and the college are designed to expand in the future if demand requires it. The two schools can accept a total of 2500 pupils.
A great deal of tree planting is also proposed on the east and south of the site to compliment Calais Muir Woods to the south – a compromise for the loss of existing trees.
Fife Council planners are currently assessing the detailed plans and will issue recommendations in due course.
However, due to their size and the impact they are likely to have on the local environment and roads, both plans will be reviewed by Fife Council’s central and west planning committee.
Only after the committee has reviewed the plans will a decision be issued for each proposal – after which construction on the long-awaited campus may finally begin, with a target completion date of the end of summer 2024.
By local democracy reporter Jon Brady