Builders hit hard rock as school takes shape

Pupils receive a Samsung Galaxy tablet from Anderson High School project director Mark Clarke to help them with their school project newsletter. From left to right: Craig Pottinger, Shane Painter, Jonathan Dorrat, Henry Hyndman, Mark Clarke, Kieran Thomson, Duncan Leslie and Lindsay Sim - Photo: Hans J Marter/ShetNews

THE CONSTRUCTION firm building the new Anderson High School and halls of residence in Lerwick has repeated its desire to minimise the impact of the £55.75 million project on the local community.

Morrison Construction’s project director Mark Clarke said that the company would only put ten two-bed accommodation units for workers at the Lower Staney Hill building site in January.


This is despite the company having permission to sleep 150 people on the land north of the Clickimin rugby pitch.

Currently Morrison employees are occupying 50 beds at Viewforth House on Lerwick’s Burgh Road.

Mark Clarke: 'trying our best to engage with the local community'

Clarke added that at least one major contractor involved in the project would be using existing accommodation in the isles rather than imported units.

He also insisted that the disturbing noise from rock breaking is soon coming to an end, saying it was some of the hardest stone he had come across.

Clarke was speaking after guiding seven members of the high school’s representative council around the six-hectare site on Wednesday afternoon.


Morrison had invited the S1-3 pupils for a taste of what the can expect when project is due to conclude in September 2017.

The enthusiastic kids brushed aside the poor weather and asked Clarke a range of questions about the site and how the school will look once it’s completed.

They were shown the site of the two storey building’s projected atrium, which will act as a busy hub, as well as a large pit that will be used for the septic tank.


It was when the youngsters asked about the halls of residence, which will form a delta shape and hold 100 beds on two floors, that Clarke revealed the bedrock under the halls was some of the toughest he had ever experienced.

The kids brushed aside the poor weather and asked Clarke a range of questions.

Over the next month, the school’s second floor should start to take shape, and work on the massive 230 space car park will get underway.

Clarke confirmed that the project remains on schedule, despite “one or two setbacks” relating to deliveries and weather.

“We’ve created a programme that plans for setbacks,” he said. “Because of the island location, we had to think about logistics very carefully.

“So what we’ve done is to plug time into the programme to allow for adverse weather, difficulty with transporting and so on. And as we stand today, we’re on programme on both buildings.”

Morrison has already met with the community in Lerwick and is issuing newsletters updating locals on the progress.

Clarke stressed the importance of working with local companies on the project, with the likes of Shetland Quality Construction, Garriock Bros and Ness Engineering all having a stake.

“There’s a lot of local businesses involved, and we’re trying our best to engage with the local community so that a lot of the money going through this project is flowing through Shetland and Lerwick.”