Windows and more

The building is getting skinned. Thousands of bricks are being laid and now we can see the emerging colour of the building.  Windows are in for most of the building as are internal partitions. People can be seen moving from room to room.

We hear that handover of the building may be delayed into July. The building itself will be complete in June but the contractors may not have finished the grounds. Some parts of the nursery roof proved difficult (and who would want to be working up there in recent weather?).  There is still an air of confident efficiency around the whole site.

Not Quite Watertight


Sunny Sunday in February


The original plan was for the new School main building to be wind and watertight by 5 February – that has not quite been achieved. Even so the scaffolding is up round most of the building which will allow the bricklayers to get the final skin built.  It has been cold, windy, wet and snowy – tricky until the windows are in.


The Main Entrance – pupils, parents, staff – the school car park, 16 places is jut to the right between the building and the new 4G pitch

Deadline Ahead


The timetable says that the superstructure is to be complete by 15 December and it looks as if that might be met.  This week we have seen concrete floors being poured – not sure if the roof is on yet – and the insulation for some walls being fitted.  It is now possible to see that the school will be an attractive design, robust but not dominating.  And built on time.

The demolition of oldSt John’s has been approved and the consultation period for the planning permission for the Treverlen Park closes shortly.

The proposed layout for the new Park



Planning Application Published

The Park Gates

There is a lot to consider in the planning application published today by the City of Edinburgh Council on its planning portal.

You can see the detail here:

New park amenity green space on the site of the former Portobello High School. Work will include the demolition of the existing St John’s RC Primary School currently on the site which will be relocated to a new build school adjacent to the new Treverlen Park upon completion of the works onsite. – St John’s RC Primary School Hamilton Terrace Edinburgh EH15 1NB

It caught the attention of the Edinburgh Evening News on 11 December .The story has a couple of oddnesses – the gates are 20th century, not 18th  but the gist is right.



Meccano and Marina

From a distance, over the high fence, it looks as though there are dinghies in a marina but close up it is a drunken row of fence posts surrounding the new all weather pitch.  Compared to the mathematical precision of the school building itself this seems a bit strange but further round they are being aligned – a work in progress.

The Meccano of the building is almost complete and the full outline of the building can now be seen – this view above is of the school office and dining hall. The gently sloping roof will be concealed by a level brick façade.  The view below is of the classrooms facing Duddingston Road, making full use of the sun.

Pitch Progress

This has been a busy week: the frames for the nursery and the gym/dining hall are up and preparations are complete to put up the classroom block between them.   The big change is that the foundations have been laid for the all-weather pitch which is the last of the big elements to be installed.

The all weather pitch foundations


The Nursery

Lots of cranes and lifting machines on site, working Saturdays too.

Steel-eyed spanning

This is the second day of steel erection.  There are two teams working, one at each end of the building. A crane man lifts each piece over the next place while one other chap on a long-arm cherry picker bolts it into place.  At the nursery end the top height of the building has been reached – only two storeys.

The Slab Boys


This must be the flattest place in Duddingston.  The seemingly huge expanse of concrete now being laid is taking a while to do but when it is finished everyone reckons the school will arise very quickly.  Each day the site seems more like a laboratory than a muck and bricks builder’s yard.




Concrete Progress

From the planning application you can begin to see what goes where: the big wire baskets in the foreground are the front of the nursery.


The pouring of concrete has continued and now the site looks very different – structural elements are emerging from the mud.

The Undemolisher

Many of you will remember the scenes of the giant machines wandering around old Portobello High School, progressively tearing larger and larger chunks out of the building.  There was something of the tyrannosaurus about them so it was a flash back this morning to see this one rearing into the sky. No blood-curdling scream but a gentle flow of concrete emerged and has continued all day.  The machine arrived at 6.45 this morning, with its long tentacle all wound up on itself in Duddingston Park ready to build anew.

The Demolition starts 7 March 2017