Work on the new Waid Academy community campus is nearing completion, as staff and pupils prepare for the move this summer.
Fife Council, along with the Scottish Government, is investing £24.3 million in the Anstruther facility which will provide services for the whole community when it opens its doors later this year.
Waid Academy Rector Iain Hughes said staff and pupils are very much looking forward to the move. He added: “Waid has been a community use school for over 25 years so we already have exceptional links with our local community and our facilities are well used by sports clubs and individuals.
“However the largest part of the new building’s function will be to house up to 800 pupils and 54 teachers, plus Community Education and Community Learning Development staff who will benefit from a fantastic new facility fit for learning in the 21st century. The building has a variety of types of learning spaces which reflect new and innovative teaching.”
The new community campus will also bring unique benefits including three new enterprise units, one for school enterprise activities and the other two can be leased to house small start-up businesses – a first for Fife within a learning setting.
Programme Manager Andrew Stokes explained: “The new Waid Community Campus will be so much more than a school.
“We’re making it easier for people to access community, leisure, culture and learning services in Fife.
“When it opens its doors, Waid Community Campus will provide a range of services for the whole community including access to council services, public library, community, learning and sports facilities and classes supported by Fife College. Police Scotland will also have a call point in the campus. As a result, as well as Waid Academy moving out of its current building which has been home for the past 130 years, Local Office services will relocate from the East Neuk Centre and library services from the Easter Town Hall, reducing the number of facilities the council requires to operate and maintain.”
Work on the new campus has been on the go since August 2015 and it’s now wind and watertight, with the internal spaces created. Internal fitting of features which will include a large multi-purpose hall with stage and tiered seating, gym, fitness suite, innovation bridge, conference and meeting rooms, library and café are also progressing well.
The community campus model is a new way of working for the council and builds on the success of Fife’s first campus, the new Windmill Community Campus in Kirkcaldy which opened in August last year.
Executive Spokesperson for Community Health and Wellbeing Cllr Linda Erskine explained why the council is doing things differently and bringing services together: “It makes sense financially to move away from costly traditional ways of doing things. We are looking at how we can work more efficiently and effectively and improve services for local people at the same time. This includes focussing on how we manage community buildings across the Kingdom.
“The Community Campus model has many benefits for local communities, offering local people a range of services under one roof and encouraging different council services to work together and offer a better “one council” experience.
“It’s great to see the benefits of this innovative approach already paying off for the entire community in Kirkcaldy and I’m really looking forward to seeing all this come together at Waid Community Campus.”