The architects behind North Ayrshire’s new Additional Support Needs (ASN) school – which is due to open next year – say they are ‘living and breathing’ this special and exciting project.

Work on the new facility, which incorporates a school and a residential and respite centre, is set to get underway.

Situated adjacent to Auchenharvie Academy, it will replace James McFarlane, Stanecastle, James Reid and Haysholm schools.

And Brian O’Donnell and Jennifer Freeman – from Norr Architects – are probably as excited as anyone.

Brian was part of the team that designed Inverclyde’s new ASN school called Craigmarloch – a school his son Ross would be one of the first to attend.

While Jennifer has years of experience working with the Port Glasgow Otters – a swimming club for people with learning and physical disabilities.

Brian said: “We are both incredibly passionate about ASN schools and we are pushing everyone involved in the project to ensure we attain the best possible facilities.

We have been shameless in constantly reminding people that the project is not just about bricks and mortar – it’s about providing an environment which will make a huge difference to their learning experience and their lives.

“We are both living and breathing the project and are confidentthis will be a fantastic facility not only for the kids and teachers but the whole community as well.”

Jennifer added: “This is something I’m so passionate about. I’ve been in voluntary disability sports since I was 15, my uncle is a Paralympic coach and it’s something that is part of the family." 

The official ground-breaking ceremony takes place in September but prep works are already taking place.

Brian added: “I’m sure the parents/carers and the whole school community will be extremely excited.”