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East Ayrshire Council lift the lid on giant Knockroon campus

January 24 2017

East Ayrshire Council lift the lid on giant Knockroon campus
East Ayrshire Council have fleshed out their plans to erect a giant 23,000sq/m learning and enterprise campus at Knockroon, bringing a nursery, primary, secondary and special needs pupils together under one roof.

With a budget allocation of £63.5m the campus represents the single largest capital investment ever undertaken in the council’s history and sports an external design influenced by existing vernacular architecture such as pitched roofs, wallhead gables with chimneys and windows.

Outlining their fenestration development Sheppard Robson architects wrote: “Developing on key aspirations about reinforcing a sense of place, the concept of using a “modern vernacular” as the architectural expression of the building is at the heart of the design.

“This approach allows the mass of the building to be broken down reducing the impact of such a large facility within the site and predominately residential urban context. Motifs such as the subdivision of each block by the use of pitched roof bays allow further breaking down of the form, while vertical fenestration proportions and the lively roofscape echo architectural forms found across Ayrshire.“ 

A robust materials palette of pale grey and cream coloured brick has been specified with reconstituted stone cladding used to express a link block and external canopies. Standing seam metal cladding will wrap down from the roof onto feature walls facing the sports pitches.

Knockroon is a planned development midway between Cumnock and Auchinleck and the design team also includes RankinFraser, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and Robert Potter and Partners.
An integrated sports hall will be given a wraparound dynamic facade
An integrated sports hall will be given a wraparound dynamic facade
Lowered window cills give children a view of the outdoors
Lowered window cills give children a view of the outdoors


Brian Mitchell
#1 Posted by Brian Mitchell on 25 Jan 2017 at 08:27 AM
What about the loss of green space broomfields sports track and games field that have been a part of the local community been taken away.The local council will not answer these questions
Isla McColl
#2 Posted by Isla McColl on 25 Jan 2017 at 13:50 PM
Council have made many mistakes,but by allowing this build to go ahead must b the biggest mistake of all time.
Allan Gray
#3 Posted by Allan Gray on 25 Jan 2017 at 14:23 PM
Whilst the companies have put a significant effort into designing a school that fits the brief and have made an excellent effort in some aspects. the Council cannot step away from the fact that they are utilising over 100square meters on Public Amenity Space (23,000 is only the building) and fencing it off to the public. they state that facilities will have a gate, but with 90% of sports education to be outside, the public are being manipulated into thinking there is shared access.

The school actually can fit in the existing Cumnock Academy Grounds with the sports centre remaining on Broomfield and the area could have everything. a school to be proud of and also public and sports amenity space that would draw people to the area. This flagship building will forever be cast as a poor construction, not for its looks, but for the councils attitude toward public opinion over how local residents are free to move around and enjoy their town.

the original concept was not Modern Vernacular neither. it was based on Victorian mill Victorian design and heavily criticised.

#4 Posted by pleasantfield on 25 Jan 2017 at 14:55 PM
I wonder what "his royal self" thinks of the layout and design?
nigel spencer
#5 Posted by nigel spencer on 25 Jan 2017 at 17:40 PM
I agree Allan, this was a major factor for us moving from the area, the buildings will dominate the skyline and overshadow Terringzean View to its detriment, no wonder the house prices are sliding beyond control, whoever said a state of the art school would increase house prices was obviously never trying to sell one.

It always felt like the council going through the motions during the consultation, riding rough shod over the people of Cumnock, as you know , no questions were answered, and looking at the new plans, there are 3 Rugby Pitches and 4 Football pitches lost, 2 as replacement that you wont be allowed to use, its a complete disgrace.

This will turn into another EAC shambles and will scar the landscape in the same way that the opencast has ruined East Ayrshire due to some clown at the council not collecting the revenue to reinstate the landscape.
Kathleen McGee
#6 Posted by Kathleen McGee on 25 Jan 2017 at 20:25 PM
Once again the local council have not been truthful re: the plans for the new build. At the moment the public can access the school grounds from Broomfield and also from Ayr Road ......Nursery Primary Secondary pupils will all be together in one area, protecting all pupils within the teaching hours will be more difficult - or will access be restricted for members of the public during school hours? We all want the best schools for our children but from the start this plan has not been well received, they and we deserve better from our Civic leaders.
Suman Nath
#7 Posted by Suman Nath on 26 Jan 2017 at 08:44 AM
I see that there are no mention of the MEP design house WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and the architects Sheppard Robson anywhere in the article which is intriguing.
#8 Posted by urbanrealm on 26 Jan 2017 at 09:19 AM
sorry about that
#9 Posted by Anna on 26 Jan 2017 at 12:57 PM
Nigel, instead of 3 rugby pitches and 2 football pitches there will be 2 rugby pitches and 2 football pitches. And there will be access to them.
Allan, how can a school possibly be built on the existing school land without interrupting the education of Cumnock Academy pupils?
I see many 'alternative facts' being put by the opponents of this school. A lot of misinformation has been fed to the public by residents of cherrytrees who of course have a conflict of interest.
#10 Posted by Anna on 26 Jan 2017 at 13:00 PM
Kathleen, the school grounds will be fenced off from the playing fields. The playing fields are fenced off separately, and the gate will be locked only when the fields are being used by the school.
Allan Gray
#11 Posted by Allan Gray on 26 Jan 2017 at 13:21 PM
Hi Anna. No one has stated that there would not be disruption to Cumnock Academy pupils. We have asked that they can be decanted to Auchinleck Academy during the construction phase which will allow them to meet with their class mates sooner and also have access to a wider education programme sooner, which is a benefit listed in EAC plans. They originally stated that the 2 academies courses were different and that would pose problems. It was then Stated in the chronicle by Douglas Reid, that this would be 'tolerable' in the short term. It is my understanding that the coursework is now more aligned and this would only further help this scenario.

In terms of your access point, I would point out a coupe of things. The council have fenced off 2 of the pitches and stated that there will be 'a gate' for continued public access. What they didn't tell you is that 90% of the sports education, due to the number of kids, is to be outside based and there is no way that they are allowing free access to all members of the public to 4g pitches when it would conflict with Cumnock Juniors Social Enterprise.

The issues raised are not alternative facts, but key concerns of all of the residents of Cumnock and surrounding areas and should not be ignored.

Alternative locations are possible and this can be proven. It should therefore have been put to the public for a decision on location. I am in full support of a new school, but think that the critical loss of amenity space is unacceptable.

We can have both.

Plebby Local
#12 Posted by Plebby Local on 26 Jan 2017 at 13:23 PM
I understand its Morrison that are the builders

according to this article they are 2 years late on a similar sized school in Scotland
Norrie Innes
#13 Posted by Norrie Innes on 29 Jan 2017 at 23:30 PM
Why are they using architects from Manchester?

Are there no decent architects in Scotland?
#14 Posted by Trumper on 30 Jan 2017 at 09:37 AM
What is it called again when you discriminate against someone or something for where it comes from ?

Pretty Sure Sheppard Robson they have a Glasgow

Concerned resident
#15 Posted by Concerned resident on 4 Feb 2017 at 13:19 PM
Hopefully the contractor Morrisons manages to complete on time for a change
mrs e laurie
#16 Posted by mrs e laurie on 13 Mar 2017 at 14:51 PM
I was thinking of buying a house on the new knockroon development but I will not be doing that now. Will this have affected the prices of houses already bought there?

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