The Mearns Academy Stakeholders Group, representing councillors, community council, academy parent and pupil organisations as well as community groups met for the first time in six months to hear about the progress in delivering the new Community Academy.

Despite the wet winter the representative from Lendlease, the main contractor, was able to report steady progress on site with the car park complete, ground preparation work well advanced and assembly of the steel structure now visible from the main road.

Traffic calming features are to be installed on the main road. A special plea to avoid a repeat of mistakes already made in Market Road was made by several local representatives. These improvements have left a road where there is no longer room for HGVs and agricultural vehicles to pass safely.

Some discussion regarding the type of games pitches being considered left the Council in no doubt that local sports organisations should be consulted quickly to ensure that the new surfaces were suited to local needs.

Details of how the new facilities will be made available to the wider community (the access strategy) have not yet been discussed and council staff were asked to consult more widely with community representatives rather than present them with a fait accompli.

The Academy staff are now focusing on ensuring that the pupils will have sufficient state of the art equipment to match their new surroundings.

The next meeting is planned for May by which time we should have a better idea how the new building will be managed and what range of new activities will be accommodated.