This exciting project provides an amazing opportunity to create, as part of an inclusive net zero-carbon city, a community lifelong learning and sports hub to replace the existing Liberton High School. The brief for the project is to create a vibrant and thriving learning environment for 1200 students, where public services can be co-located with links to active travel networks, green infrastructure and public transport networks. This Community Hub vision for the building to be ‘more than a school’ aligns with the City of Edinburgh Council’s 20 Minute Neighbourhood Strategy – to localise and co-locate services, making them more accessible for communities and to improve the experiences and outcomes for their citizens.
The project will develop excellent facilities that meet all the aspirations of the Scottish Government Learning Estate Investment Strategy to connect people, places and learning, to improve outcomes for all and to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The City of Edinburgh Council is committed to all learning estate building investment being constructed to Passivhaus standards, designed to meet the city-wide aspirations for our schools to be as energy efficient as possible in response to the Climate Emergency and Edinburgh’s 2030 Net Zero target.
What’s Happened So Far?
Through the Arcadis Project Management Team, early engagement and consultation with stakeholders started in January 2021 and continued until June. This process involved interviews, workshops and presentations to form a Strategic Brief that captured the aspirations of the local community, as well as incorporating the wider Council objectives for the building to become a Community Hub. The completed Strategic Brief was then handed to the Architects in the Design Team (JM Architects) who started to design the building and plan for the accommodation and spaces required. In the meantime, an assessment of the existing site and how the new building would work within it was carried out, with discussions on how best to arrange the entire site to minimise disruption to the existing school and local community during the construction phase.
Initial discussions on how learning spaces across the school could be arranged took place with Liberton staff and this produced the first draft floor plans, ready to take forward into the next stages of detailed design, engagement and consultation with all stakeholders.
With the detailed design and planning developing, and the Planning Application in process, it is hoped that construction will begin in early 2024 to enable an opening date for August 2025. The subsequent demolition of the old building and construction of new outdoor sports facilities is planned to complete by August 2026.