The following article appeared in the Goldberry (the
Kilmarnock Academy magazine) in 1967, the year
before the New Building was opened. As can be
seen from the article, not all the plans were accompl-
ished, What is called ‘phase three' in the article was
largely not undertaken (for example, the corridor
supported on pillars between the New Building and
the Old Tech was never built), and the replacement
of ‘all those horrible glass partitions' in the Old Aca-
demy did not happen for another thirty years, during
the refurbishment of 1996-7. The new Gym Halls
were, however, opened in 1969.
It has been mentioned elsewhere in this issue that "Goldberry" has reached the ripe (or is it sour?) old age of sixty. The school's history, however, extends much further back than that and the Academy occupied the site of the Grand Hall and the Grange School before moving to it's present position.
The new building, which has reared, out of the former playground in the past two and a half years, is now nearing completion, and is due to be opened in the coming year , so this is a very good time to be acquainted with some of the facts about the present and future developments of the Academy.
The best place to start this tour of this new building is at the main door which is reached by two flights of steps from Elmbank Drive . To the right of this door are three offices, of which the first is the assistant rector's office to be occupied by Mr Laing or Miss Smith. Next is the Rector's office, and beyond that the secretaries' office, while on the floor above there is a new staff room, which no doubt, have unheard of luxuries to which those revered members of the community are totally unaccustomed. First aid is also provided on this floor in the shape of a nursing room, but whether or not an attractive nurse is supplied as well, I cannot say.
The corridor from the first floor of the administrative block joins the main block at second-floor level, outside the library door. The library tastefully furnished with concrete pillars, is situated at the southern end of the main block, with four science rooms on the two floors above and two on the one below it. An automatic lift is provided for the easy transport of "equipment" between the science rooms.
Specially designed homecraft rooms are also provided. Not only are they fitted with a multiplicity of modern electric cookers, sink units, and other machines of the type found in the modern kitchen, but two small rooms have been partitioned off and fitted out as the typical rooms from an average house-so that the subject can be taught in realistic surroundings.
The domestic science rooms are on the top two floors of the Northern end of the main building, and on the two bottom floors are the engineering science laboratories. Also in this block are two small rooms where 8-10 senior pupils can study without disturbance.
The remaining rooms in the main block are mainly general classrooms and multifarious cloakrooms, rest rooms, and toilets, of which this particular building seems to have more than its fair share. The only important parts of the new building which have not yet been mentioned are the boiler room (a most important place), the main hall, and the dining hall. The boiler room houses 5 modern (coal fired) boilers, fed by chain grates which carry in dross-like coal and bring it out as an ash, which is collected and blown by fans up to the top of a storage and cooling tower from which it is collected each week. The main hall, which, along with the dining hall, lies between the new building and the present Academy building, is designed to seat 1400 people and is provided with a fully equipped stage, as well as a projection room, while the dining hall itself has been built right up to the red sandstone walls of the old school. The partial opening of these new premises in September and their eventual completion by next summer will see the end of phase one of the plan.
Phase two consists of the complete renovation of the Academy building, involving the replacement of all those horrible glass partitions with more solid constructions. There will also be an increase in room size, and thus a reduction in the rooms. Rooms A5-A7 will be replaced by wash rooms and prefects' rooms, while rooms B3-B7 and C5-C9 will be replaced by three larger rooms on each floor. The work on phase two should take about a year, starting next Christmas, by which time a considerable portion of the new building will be in use.
Phase Three consists of modernising the Technical Building , constructing an all-weather games hall, and finally connecting the "Tech" to the new building by means of a corridor supported on pillars. Since this corridor will leave the new block at second-floor level to join the corridor outside E8, it will require the demolition of D8 and the metalwork room. This should be finished in 1971.
Finally, all that will remain to be done is the general tidying up of the school precincts, the removal of the "temporary" wooden huts, and the demolition of the old gym, baths, and woodwork room. The project started early in 1964 and is scheduled for completion in 1971. So, for about 8 years' work and almost £1 million of taxpayers' money, Kilmarnock will have a very fine modern school with a proud history stretching back many centuries.
© Kilmarnock Academy