Plans for a new community campus in Alford moved a step closer this week.
Marr councillors approved the £40million project, which will now go forward to Aberdeenshire Council’s Policy and Resources Committee next week. It is expected work on the project will start in 2014.
Councillors backed a proposal to combine plans for a new primary and secondary school in the town last year in order to allow both to be built at the same time.
The scheme includes a new 640-pupil academy, 325-pupil primary, and a four lane, 25 metre swimming pool.
The campus would also feature a community library, external sports facilities and accommodation for community learning and development activities.
Councillor John Latham believes it is vital that the IT centre remains in Alford under the development.
He said: “I very much welcome the proposals and local people I have spoken to are delighted with this project.
“However, we must not lose sight of the retention of the IT centre which is a supplier of essential printing components, and something the community needs.
“Local residents won’t want to travel to Inverurie to get these service, especially at a time when everyone is looking to cut down on unneccessary journeys.”
The project is one of 30 included in a Scottish Government list of the next schools to be built or refurbished in Scotland under the Schools for the Future programme, and will be funded jointly by Aberdeenshire Council.