After a recent meeting with Glasgow City Council it appears they will kick off a public consulation at the end of Sept 2016 on where to build an extra Primary School within the North Kevin area. They have 4 sites shortlisted but their preferred one is on the Maryhill Road footabll pitches at the corner of Maryhill Road and Queen Margret Drive. We don’t know where the other 3 sites are.
At the moment there is 1 full sized blasé pitch, 2 small blase pitches and 1 tarmac pitch. Their plan will be to renovate the full sized pitch with a 3G surface and build a primary school , access road and car parking for the school on the rest of the land. The new full sized pitch will beable to be rented out to anyone that wants it i.e. it will have a seperate access point from the school. The existing nursery school building will probably be moved to another part of the land as the entry to the new primary school will probably be from where it is currently.
Red blasé as a footabll surface is not popular and most competitive games won’t be played on that surface. So the need to renovate the surface into a synethic grass (called 3G) is widely acknowledged as something that needs to happen.
Its worth recapping on some history regarding this site and the surrounding area. The Council did close some primary schools in the wider area some years back . The reason was a lack of kids for these schools. However the Council are now saying the 2008 credit crash has changed the demographics of this area. Now more familes are staying rather than moving further out of the city to raise a family. Council by law has to provide schooling for kids in its area. They also mentioned where they closed the schools isn’t exactly in the same area as they want to build a new primary school.
The Council say one of the advantages to building the primary school on this site is it means they have less admin costs to manging both the pitch and school. It also gets round the problem of getting funding to renovate the existing pitches as that would be tied up with funding for the school.
In 2008 there was a plan tabled and backed by the Council to renovate the existing pitches, build a club house with changing rooms, meeting rooms along with conference facilities for £3.5m. The Council has recently gone through the details of that plan and now state at todays prices it would be £5m. The original plan was built on £1m of that funding coming from the sale of North Kelvin Meadow which back in 1993 was a red blase football pitch. Today there is much support for keeping the North Kelvin Meadow and the Children Wood from being sold off for housing. Plus getting the balance i.e. the £4m is not seen as doable in todays financial environment. Hence why the Council is looking at the new prmary school for this land.
The North Kelvin Community Council (NKCC) at the same meeting with the Council had their own plans to renovate the Maryhill Pitches. This was described as essentially just renovating each of the exsiting red blasé pitches onto a synthetic 3G grass, provide fencing and goals posts. They have sourced a supplier that can come and do a turn key service on this i.e. one company will project mange it and hand it over once finished. In total for all 4 pitches that would come to about £600k. They said if funding proved difficult to raise for that amount they would propose renovating the small tarmac pitch first, which would be about £100-150k on its own. Then at a later date do the others.
The Council was asked if they had thought of renovating the school at the back of the Elephant Park for this new primary school. The current plans by the council are to sell that and the adjoining grass land off for private housing. This has caused many objections from locals in that area as they have also parceled in the actual Elephant park as part of that bundled proposed sale. Could they keep the Elephant Park and build the new primary school at the back of that? We’ll need to see come the public consulation at the end of Sept 2016.
No one has a crystal ball to show the future. Would Brexit have a bearing on demographics? The new primaty school isn’t expected to be built for 4-5 years.