Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 14:33 GMT on Friday, 10th August 2012.
North Lanarkshire pupils start new term in new schools

PUPILS across North Lanarkshire are returning to start the new term, but for thousands of them the new term will begin in brand new ‘start-of-the-art’ schools.

Over the past year work has gone on to get Calderhead High School, in Shotts, Chryston High School and Cultural Centre, and Coltness High School, in Wishaw ready for the August back to school rush.

Additionally, Greenhill and Drumpark primary schools now share the former Coatbridge High School building, and £12.8 million has been spent refurbishing and adding exciting new features to the listed building.

Jim Logue, Convener of Learning and Leisure Services, said: "We are determined that schools are seen as facilities to benefit entire communities.

"They are the result of the hard work of a number of individuals along with support from pupils, parents and teachers.

"The new facilities have been delivered on time and on budget with more to come."

In June, All Saints and Rochsolloch Primaries in Airdrie and Calderbridge Primary campus with Coltness Community Centre in Wishaw were opened by Provost Jim Robertson.

He said: "The schools and community facilities are designed to provide our young people with the best start in life we can give them.

"They have been designed with sustainability, flexibility and with the young people in mind. The outdoor areas give pupils fantastic opportunities for learning and play."

On each evening, pupils entertained the guests with music and singing.

However, despite the new openings, one school isn’t quite ready; the £44 million St Ambrose and Buchanan High Schools campus, including Townhead Community Centre, in Coatbridge will be completed by the end of October.

And, In Wishaw, the design phase Clyde Valley High School and a primary school’s new campus is ongoing and progressing well.

These projects are part of our £250 million Schools and Centres 21 programme, which is transforming schools and community facilities across the North Lanarkshire.

However, it isn’t just southern parts of North Lanarkshire which are benefitting, Greenfaulds High School, in Cumbernauld, has had its funding bid take a leap forward.

Plans to help fund up to £30 million of investment into Greenfaulds High School have now received full backing from all political parties and if the bid to the Scottish Future Trust's Schools for the Future Programme is successful , then North Lanarkshire Council would contribute one third of the cost of the project.

Dr John May, head teacher of Greenfaulds High School, said: "The possibility of a new, modern building is something that excites all members of our community - pupils, parents and staff.

"Our pupils have consistently proven their abilities to achieve very high standards and we're hoping that by realising our hopes of a new school building that it will result in further improvements in the delivery of teaching and learning by our committed staff and benefit our enthusiastic and hard-working young people.

"The existing school facilities have served the school and community well for 40 years, but this opportunity would enable educational provision at Greenfaulds High to be taken to new levels and we clearly hope that our bid will be supported by the Scottish Futures Trust."