First turf cut at site of new Paisley Grammar School

  • 25th June 2024

Construction work is underway on a new modern home for Paisley Grammar School.

The campus is a state-of-the-art facility and will replace the existing school.

Due to open by August 2026 on vacant land in Renfrew Road, it will boast two full-size sports pitches, a 300-seat theatre, as well as a fitness suite, dance and drama studio, and music suite.

Main contractor, Morrison Construction, has been on site since March delivering groundworks to prepare the land for the main building work, which starts this week and will last for two years.

A ground-breaking ceremony was conducted by some of the current S1-S3 pupils, who will be among the first young people to move into the school when it opens.

S3 pupils Grace Christie and Niamh O’Toole said: “It was exciting to see what we’re moving into.

“We liked how clean it looked and are looking forward to having sports pitches right there.”

Their classmates, Surbjeet Singh and Adam Walker, added: “It looks like it’ll be very interesting to explore. We are excited about the football pitches as well.”

They were joined by Paisley Grammar School head teacher, Janice Levens.

Image, Renfrewshire Council

She said: “For us as a school this will open up so many opportunities.

“When you come on site and you see the space you start to get excited.

“We love the building we are in, and it has a lot of history attached, but it isn’t modern enough, so we can’t wait to get into this new one.

“We’re looking forward to the sense of space we will have here, both inside and outside the building.”

Once complete the new school will also have facilities for the wider community, such as meeting rooms and flexible learning spaces.

And the design seeks to meet the high standards for energy efficiency and building performance.

The location of the building also allows a close partnership with the neighbouring West College Scotland campus, with potential to expand the range of subjects on offer to pupils.

The school will be able to hold up to 1,380 pupils, well above the current school roll of just over 1,000.

Janie O’Neill, Renfrewshire Council’s director of children’s services, said: “It was a pleasure to meet some of the young people who might be among the first to benefit from this new school, and it’s exciting to think about what it will offer once complete in two years time.

“The old Paisley Grammar building has served generations of pupils well for more than 100 years, but the needs of learners and teachers have changed and the new school will be purpose built to meet them.

“Not only will it be an energy-efficient building with state-of-the-art facilities for sports and practical subjects and 21st-century learning and teaching, but it will be an asset for the whole Paisley community, who will be able to use those facilities out of school hours.”

The £85.5m project is being delivered by Renfrewshire Council, supported by funding from the Scottish Government’s Learning Estate Improvement Programme.

It is being built within the site of a wider development which looks to transform transport links in the north of Paisley and help create safer access to the school.

David Ewing, managing director for Morrison Construction Building central region, said: “As a leading contractor in the education sector, we are delighted to work again with Renfrewshire Council and Scottish Futures Trust on the delivery of the new Paisley Grammar School Community Campus.

“It’s great to see work commence in earnest and we look forward to delivering this high-quality facility that will make a positive contribution to the local community.”

The council will look to find a new owner for the current Paisley Grammar School site when it becomes vacant in 2026.

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