Scotland’s first new secondary school in more than 25 years is set to open next month following completion of construction work. Bertha Park High School is a £32.5m project led by hub East Central Scotland on behalf of Perth & Kinross Council with Robertson serving as main contractor.
Located on the northern outskirts of Perth, the school is unique in that it is an entirely new school and not a replacement of an existing one. Part of the Scottish Government’s Schools for the Future programme, Bertha Park will eventually accommodate up to 1,100 pupils — with around 200 S1 and S2 pupils due to start the 19/20 school term.
Construction work began in November 2017, with Robertson building state-of-the-art facilities, including a sports hall, gym; full size grass and synthetic football pitches as well as a multi-use games area.
Technology lies at the heart of Bertha Park, which is one of only 17 schools across the globe — and the only one in the UK — selected as part of the Microsoft Flagship Schools programme. The US giant has lent their expertise to the school, advising on how to make the most of technology to improve the learning experience for pupils and give staff increased flexibility with delivering the curriculum.
Kevin Dickson, Managing Director, Robertson Tayside, said: “Bertha Park is set to be one of the most advanced schools not only in Scotland but across the UK and beyond. Partnership working has been crucial to delivering this state-of-the-art facility and Robertson has been privileged to serve as the main contractor.
“The built environment can have an enormous impact on the education experience and while our work is now complete, we are genuinely excited to see how the story of the school unfolds. We wish all pupils and staff the very best and have no doubt they will thoroughly enjoy their time at Bertha Park.”
Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland, said: “We have worked closely with all of the stakeholders involved in this unique project to manage it to successful completion. Bertha Park is the sixth school delivered by our team at hub for Perth & Kinross Council and is built to the highest standard, creating a unique digital-learning centre of excellence in the most contemporary environment.”
Councillor Caroline Shiers, Perth & Kinross Council’s Lifelong Learning Convener said: “This is an exciting time for us as we look forward to Bertha Park High School opening its doors to the first group of pupils following this partnership with hub East Central Scotland and Robertson.
“The development of the brand new school is an important part of the Council’s programme to transform the school estate in Perth and Kinross and enable it to deliver a high quality environment for learning and teaching into the future.”
In addition to serving as contractor, Robertson’s civil engineering and capital projects team have also been heavily involved in the project.