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Highland Council plan for new nursery building aims to free up extra capacity at Milton of Leys Primary School in Inverness


By Philip Murray

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An artist's impression of the new nursery (left), looking south towards the main road, with the existing school on the right, and the pedestrianised road (centre). Access would be via the Leys Square turn-off at the nearby Co-op supermarket.
An artist's impression of the new nursery (left), looking south towards the main road, with the existing school on the right, and the pedestrianised road (centre). Access would be via the Leys Square turn-off at the nearby Co-op supermarket.

A LARGE new nursery building could be built at an Inverness primary as the school seeks to expand to meet growing demand.

Highland Council has lodged plans for a new nursery on land adjacent to Milton of Leys Primary School.

If successful, the new building would allow for the relocation of the existing nursery facilities – freeing up additional classroom space in the main school building.

The construction of the new building could also signal a major change in access to the wider school site.

The proposed location of the new nursery sits on vacant land immediately to the east of the existing school.

But this would place it on the other side of the existing school access road.

And, in a bid to improve safety for children on the site – and boost car parking facilities – the plans include several options which could modify access.

Describing it as a "major part" of the design, the architects Colin Armstrong, produced four options for the new road layout – which is described as being important to "improve safety and pedestrian access to the school and nursery".

These range from making the existing road access one-way, to pedestrianising it and having access enter the combined school/nursery site from the Leys Square turn-off where the local Co-op supermarket is based.

The preferred option would also include a roundabout within the school/nursery grounds – to ease access – and additional car parking.

They added: "Stopping up the existing road... allows for this to become a pedestrian access from a proposed bus drop off at Inshes road.

Looking towards the new nursery.
Looking towards the new nursery.

The finished building would be built in a similar style, and using similar cladding, to the existing school, in order to "compliment" what already exists at the site.

Inside, it would feature two large classrooms, a large breakout/dining room, as well as a kitchen, servery, storage rooms, a range of staff and child toilets, and office rooms with reception/foyer.

A Highland Council spokesperson said: “The new building is designed to provide accommodation for at least 96 nursery age children to deliver the expanded Early Learning and Childcare service, with a planned opening date of August 2022.

"It will also provide out-of-school care for primary age children. The existing nursery rooms in the main building will be converted to primary classrooms to increase the capacity of the school to meet the growing roll.”

Related news: Primary pupils turn a new leaf with help of supermarket


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