Inverness Royal Academy

The new 16,000 sq.m Inverness Royal Academy was commissioned as part of The Highland Council’s 10-year capital programme to respond to a collection of poor grade existing buildings, mass increase in surrounding housing developments and amendments to school catchment areas.




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The building previously had capacity for 1474 pupils however careful consideration has been given to accommodate a further increase in pupil role by extending the building in a way that maintains the design aesthetic of the original project.

The new Inverness Royal Academy was designed on the premise of the SFT ‘Superblock’ pilot model and its efficient plan and massing strategy allowed it to meet both SFT area and cost metrics. It has two, four storey internal atriums which draw natural daylight down into the centre of the building.

Working on a live site can prove to be challenging and this meant that very early on in the design process jmarchitects were required to take cognisance of phasing the overall project, in particular the separation of construction traffic from staff and the pupils. When the main contractor came on board the Design Team were able to consult with the school, necessary statutory authorities and the Council and fnalising Construction Phasing Plan and logistics. As well as the challenges that were posed, many opportunities were also discovered, primarily in the form of an excellent relationship between the main contractor and the staff and pupils within the school.

The new school provides extensive learning environments as well as community sports facilities for use after school hours, weekend and in school holidays. The community sports facilities are run by High Life Highland and include two 3G external pitches, a trim track, two four-court sports halls, a gymnasium, a dance studio and a fitness suite. There is also a community café adjacent to the dedicated community reception and a full complement of changing facilities.

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