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Evie Community School

Evie, Orkney

Mackie Ramsay Taylor were appointed directly by Orkney Island Council as Architect and Contract Administrator for a new community primary school in Evie, on the north coast of Mainland, Orkney. The school has been procured through a Traditional building contract, with local builder Casey Construction acting as Main Contractor. The new school was constructed on the site of the existing school, which remained operational throughout the construction works.

The school acts as a focal point for the local community and it was an interesting challenge to combine the different space requirements of the school, nursery, and community groups (including quite substantial amateur dramatic society). This was achieved through an extensive consultation and design review process with each of the stakeholder groups to ensure we reached an effective solution. In the end, our approach challenges the pre-conceived ideas of how the school, and in particular the site, should be planned out to take full advantage of the existing site and the fantastic views, and in a more practical way, ensure the redevelopment could be done safely with clear segregation between the new works and the retained school.

The school has capacity for 90-pupils, with a further 20-places available in the pre-school. All teaching spaces are linked around a shared open-plan break-out area which incorporates the shared library. All teaching spaces have direct access to external areas, with control ‘bubbles’ at entrances and links with community spaces. The main administrative and support spaces link the school/pre-school areas with the community accommodation, with a shared dining/sports/community hall located at the point of connection.

External areas provide a mix of hard and soft play areas, and an enhanced 7-side grass football pitch, with linkages through the site for walking and linking external teaching spaces.

The school takes full advantage of the geo-thermal potential under the site and incorporates underfloor heating supplied by ground sourced head recovery from bore holes under the football pitch.


Orkney Islands Council

Design and Construction Team

Mackie Ramsay Taylor
Structural Engineer:
Clancy Consulting
Services Engineer:
Hawthorne Boyle Ltd
Casey Construction